Sydney musician Nina Gotsis has released a new EP, Music Colours, featuring members of Youth Group and Xylouris/White.
Gotsis is influenced by country, pop and the beauty of the natural world, and honed her guitar playing by spending hours rehearsing in the upstairs bedroom of her old home at Bardwell Park.
She works at the Club Weld studio for neurodiverse musicians, and recently recorded at Information & Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.) in Parramatta with Aria-nominated producer Chris Hamer-Smith.
Gotsis was a member of the Junction House Band with Lindy Morrison (The Go-Betweens), and after the band ceased she continued to write prolifically.
“I’ve been writing music for 15 years, and I’m very happy that people can listen to these songs on CD and in performances,” she said.
The songs are distinctive and focus on beauty, ecology and family origins.
“‘Endless Country’ is about living in Greece and Australia, that’s why I wrote it,” she said.
Gotsis features on guitar and percussion throughout Music Colours, playing with her core band which includes Toby Martin from Youth Group and Sam Worrad from The Holy Soul.
Martin praised the joyousness of the material.
“Waterfalls at night, light shining through gardens, native birds,” Martin said.
“I love singing Nina’s songs, I feel I can really get inside them and live in them.”
Other guest musicians are George Xylouris, Apollonia Xylouris (Bandidas), Sonia Zadro (Hotel) and Kate Wilson (The Holy Soul/Sachet).
Worrad said George and Apollonia Xylouris came to be involved after he and Gotsis attended a Xylouris/White performance in Sydney just prior to the pandemic hitting.
“George and Apollonia wound up playing outi, violin and masia on the song ‘Australian Bird’, recording their parts over in Crete,” he said.
In June, Gotsis, Martin and Worrad debuted the Music Colours material at Koutouki, a Greek restaurant and music venue in Leichhardt.
“It’s great to see the result of Nina’s work,” Worrad said.
“We met a couple of years ago and Nina showed me binders full of chord progressions and lyrics, and we started going over them every Monday afternoon – beautiful songs about water, birds, mountains and pop stars.”
Currently, Gotsis is working with conductor Sarah Penicka-Smith to create a choral version of her song “Frozen River” with the River City Voices symphonic choir.
She has also collaborated with award-winning animator Helena Papageorgiou on a video for this song.
Music Colours is available on bandcamp (https://icemusic.bandcamp.com/album/music-colours) and is streaming via ABC Music.