It takes some sort of artist to transcend the contract of the background music and make people order another drink, just so they can stay a while longer and listen. Mcrobin (aka James McGuffie) is one of these artists. While his outward brilliance hooks you in at first - like fellow Melbournian’s Lior and Hue Blanes, who cut their teeth silencing the clatter of cafes and bars - it’s his refined musicality, paired his with intelligent songwriting, that keeps you there.

 

In 2014, the release of his debut single Waiting for the Rain, saw Mcrobin as a finalist for both the International Songwriting Competition and the Darebin Music Feast Songwriters' Award. Then in 2015, Mcrobin released his debut EP, Fault Lines, recorded and produced alongside drummer/collaborator Jim Rindfleish, and mixed by renowned engineer Matt Voigt (Big Scary, Oh Mercy). The debut release was a culmination of a decade of songwriting self-education, the likes of which didn’t go unnoticed. Mcrobin received his second consecutive place within the top 10 finalists of the Darebin Music Feast Songwriters' Award, this time for the lead single ‘In’.

 

After a run of shows and festival slots (incl. St. Kilda Fest, Mt Beauty Fest and Canberra’s Beyond Fest) in the summer of ‘15/’16, Mcrobin hit the studio again, this time with a more collaborative four-piece band and a more mature and developed collection of songs. The result was the continuation and broadening of the band’s distinctive sound, in the form of the sophomore EP, ‘Shallow Diver’.

 

Themes of numbness and disconnect are at the forefront of the five songs in this release. James writes, “the songs came from a realisation I made, that I have a relatively low emotional awareness; feeling like my ability to experience and express my emotions was really limited.” These gloomy prospects are most prominent in the slow-burning title track ‘Shallow Diver’, and the jarring, ‘Fine Lie'. Despite this, moments of acceptance and surrender rear their heads in the nakedness of the Cohen-esque ballad, ‘Periphery’, and the driving, yet ethereal EP closer, ‘Steal My Only’, providing glimmers of hope and optimism.

Mcrobin’s intricate harmonies and multifaceted instrumental textures recall the cinematic musical scope of sonic pioneers like Beck and Wilco, teasing at the possibility of many diverse future musical directions for the band.

"Mcrobin’s silky smooth voice and undeniable songwriting talent has quickly made him one of our new favourite upcoming Aussie acts."  - Tone Deaf

 

"The record has tones that feel inspired by Fleetwood Mac with a sprinkle of Leonard Cohen (when he’s in a really good mood). We’re just about ready to take this to our local hangout and request they put it on repeat.” - AAA Backstage

 

Find out more about James McRobin here.

 

 

St Leonards Vineyard cellar door is open from 10am to 5pm.

 

St Leonards Vineyard Café open from 12pm. Online bookings recommended, book here.

 

For further details, contact customer service on 1800 021 621 or email [email protected].