Dear Willow

Birthed from letters to her older self, Dear Willow is the musical project by Sunshine Coast creative Em-J Dau. Growing up with the arts close to her heart (just short of a family heirloom) has meant that expressing herself has been a story telling affair. Dear Willow has been many things, first letters and poetry, then to a solo folk acoustic act, and has recently evolved into something bigger than expected. Innumerable shows, countless songs and working with other creative types have helped stretch Dear Willow from timid songstress to seasoned performer.

Since releasing her first commercial single ‘Father’s House’ in 2015, Dear Willow has become a known name on the Sunshine Coast. Local blog The Point described EmJ as having “one of those voices that is soft, and slightly melancholic, yet has a ferocity to it”, which is true of her songs too, to say the least.

While it was straight forward to box ‘Father’s House’ into the folky world, Dear Willows’ sound has moved to more of a mix, which could be soft indie rock, or alternative pop, or Lord-knows-what depending on whom you ask. The best way to describe Dear Willows newest offering, ‘When It Burns’, is to imagine a smoky, punchy indie pop song with a hint of Bastille vibes then added some raspy guitars, synthy lines and a groove that jumps from high hat sizzles galore to straight up soft rock.

‘When It Burns’ will be available from September 9th and supported by a swag of shows including a single launch at music hub Solbar on Thursday 15th September, followed by an appearance at the Brisbane Festival on the 16th September at Arcadia Activations.

Web links:

Instragram: @dear_willow

Live performance:

Film Clips:



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Pete Allan




Sometimes you can just tell the artists that grew up on the coast. Their music and their lyrics all seem to reflect the smoothness of the sea breeze, or the relaxed pace of coastal life, transporting the listener from wherever they are to wherever they would rather be. This capability is the heart and soul of Pete Allan’s latest single, Treading Water. A native of the Sunshine Coast hub of Noosa, Pete’s summery blend of effortlessly cool vocals and hypnotic, swaying rhythms are the musical epitome of the paradise he grew up in.

With an irresistible funk undertone, Treading Water goes straight to the hips – urging you to groove your way through the song no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It’s feel-good music, without the twee agenda. That is, it just makes you feel good. Following on from Pete’s sold-out first EP Under The Surface (2012), Treading Water sets the pace for the next batch of songs, due for release as an EP in 2016. Produced by Elliot Heinrich at Heliport Studios, Treading Water is bombastic and full sounding, without adding unnecessary weight to Pete’s feather-light musical agility.

Perfectly described by Sea FM for its “smooth Sunday arvo feel”, Pete Allan’s music matches his lifestyle – a blend of coastal warmth and down-to-earth honesty. This meeting of music and ocean is not a new thing for Pete (who has seen several of his songs end up on surf movies) but it has in recent years taken a very literal twist. As seen in Pete’s Summertime clip, he has taken to riding guitars like they are bodyboards, gaining the attention of GoPro and Inertia surf magazine, and delighting the internet. Pete Allan, it would seem, is the embodiment of an entirely new definition of surf music.

But it is his work on-shore, as an artist, that defines him. Capturing one of the most beloved aspects of Australian life, Pete Allan continues to create music that represents the vastness of coastal culture on a continent girt by sea. Treading Water is Pete Allan doing what he does best.


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Developing the Live Music Industry on the Sunshine Coast

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