[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dustin Tebbutt is a man caught between two worlds; First Light – his highly anticipated debut album – is a bridge between them. He’s just announced the Distance Call tour with Lisa Mitchell (with young folk-rocker Alex The Astronaut in support), playing nine shows across June and July comprised of songs from First Light and Mitchell’s new LP Warriors.

Diverse and enigmatic, First Light is a triumph of sound and emotion. A record of romantic closer that explores universal vulnerability, it is already wildly successful, debuting in the top 15 in the ARIA charts. In response to this, Tebbutt is quietly humble: “I wasn’t sure if people were still engaged and still interested… It’s nice to have those affirmations.”

Appreciative of online music and the opportunities it presents to artists, Tebbutt sees platforms such as Spotify to be the birthplace of massive potential for musicians. “I was living in Sweden and I remember Spotify had just started there, I saw the birth of that and recognised what an impact it would have in bringing that control back into artists’ hands to find their audience.”

This album is deeply personal and tinged with mourning and blistering enlightenment, but for Tebbutt, his candidness was not always so natural. “In the first couple of releases the lyrics were definitely more metaphorical, maybe I still felt some level of embarrassment about having feelings for human beings.”

But in some ways First Light has progressed both his sound and his ability to reconcile experiences, musically embodying his reality. “I don’t make it a point to be open and I don’t over-share… That whole chapter of my life, it was real and there was enough content to write songs and stories that were important to me, enough that I wanted to encapsulate them in music,” he explains. Tebbutt provides musical cohesion to human experience with which we can all relate. “I don’t see it as a fragile and vulnerable thing, I find it quite empowering.” Perhaps First Light is so accessible and adored for this reason?

Tebbutt is Australian in body, but one could argue that he is Swedish at heart, spending huge amounts of time there over the last several years, living and writing. A Scandinavian lilt is easily detected in his sound, something that perhaps makes this musician so recognisable and unique. Yet he has intertwined a brash Australian beat into his writing that, as he articulates, is unintentional. “I kind of forgot that Australian music existed… Sweden became home for me… I had to recreate that base and start getting those cultural references back.”

But with a blending of sounds, one then moves to the release of the four-track EP Give Me Tonight featuring First Light remixes. An empowering and exciting experience, Tebbutt says that it was something that took care and precision. “All of the ones that came out were actually really good and I didn’t just farm it out to anyone, I chose people that I trusted and wanted to hear their take on stuff… They kind of took the songs and made them their own… It was such a beautiful process to watch that one unfold.” The EP features versions of both First Light and Give Me Tonight, mixed by electronic artists Odelo, Upside Down Head and Feki. A crisp and daring take on already beautiful tracks, these re-imaginings are a gorgeous accompaniment to the original.

No stranger to collaboration, Tebbutt has worked alongside other Australian artists, writing and producing with Thelma Plum for Silk from his mini album Home, but most recently with Dave Le’aupepe from Gang of Youths. While Le’aupepe was originally called in to help write Wooden Heart, the day unfolded differently to how they expected. Give Me Tonight and it is arguably one of the most lyrically astounding tracks on the album, proffering a positive experience for Tebbutt. “We didn’t have many expectations, we didn’t really think we were going to write a song. There was content there, we could both kind of relate to it and it was really easy, one of those really nice collaborations, it just felt like it was meant to happen.”

Tebbutt likes to remain the man behind the music, much more comfortable in the wings than on the set of his extraordinary videos or the forefront of the visual brand that his music is developing. As he puts it, “If it was up to me, all the videos would be like these little random static visuals, or something mesmerising that was not content-based at all.” Interestingly, Tebbutt sees himself not so much as a singer/songwriter, but more a soundsmith or ‘sound tinkerer’.

Having already toured the album nationally alongside Robbie Miller and Woodes, its no surprise that Tebbutt retreated back to the comforts of Sweden for some hard-earned recovery and an opportunity to continue writing. From all accounts there is much to look forward to in the coming year.

A cool blend of indie hum and entrancing electronica, First Light is a scrapbook of authenticity, bringing out Tebbutt’s most vulnerable and empowering moments. In no uncertain way, First Light is a living, breathing album, colourful and utterly transfixing. And having just returned from his month of writing in Sweden, we’re sure to be hearing new music soon enough![/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”white”][vc_column_text]

Dustin Tebbutt & Lisa Mitchell – The Distant Call Tour

10 June, Factory Theatre, Sydney

11 June, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

15 June, The Triffid, Brisbane

16 June, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay

17 June, SolBar, Maroochydore

23 June, Newport Hotel, Fremantle

24 June, Badlands, Perth

29 & 30 June, Corner Hotel, Melbourne

1 July, The Gov, Adelaide[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”iTunes” style=”custom” custom_background=”#ff5ff3″ custom_text=”#000000″ shape=”square” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-music” add_icon=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fau%2Falbum%2Ffirst-light%2Fid1121584743||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row]