Hobart singer songwriter Christopher Coleman returns with his eight-piece band The Great Escape on new single 'Paloona'. The second offering from the outfit's highly anticipated debut album The Great Tasmanian Escape, 'Paloona' follows in the wake of 2019 album icebreaker 'Jesse' which introduced Coleman's newfangled supergroup made up of members from The Drones, Augie March and more. The cherished Aussie act is excited to also be sharing the track's visual counterpart in a new film directed by revered local filmmaker Ursula Woods, and reveal that their expansive LP will be with us this summer, landing Friday 25 February 2022.
'Paloona' chronicles the long-awaited second chapter from The Great Tasmanian Escape's sprawling collection that centres around the semi-autobiographical protagonist, Jesse. The single acts as both a tangible and metaphysical escape from the character's present reality, named after an isolated rural Tasmanian powerstation but presented as a pair of open arms. Ursula's video couples the track's exponential crescendos, from quiet beginnings of Coleman laying in a field, to waterside camping, picturesque bike rides and solo road trips, in a sprawling escapist epic. Produced by Glenn Richards, 'Paloona' was performed by the late, great Mike Noga on drums, Stu Hollingsworth on bass and Kelly Ottaway on keys, with Christopher and Glenn leading both guitar and vocals in another captivating taste of Coleman's undeniably rich storytelling.
"Paloona came about towards the end of putting the record together. It was always down on the map that I was working from, but I didn't realise at the time of marking it down that it is a hydropower station 20km from anything remotely residential. So the commute for the workers can be 300km, they stay in a motel for a week and then make their way back home. I imagined the character, 'Jesse' or whoever, resenting the drive and the imposition of unavoidable reflections of the land which he'd feel under a tyre. But, 'Paloona' sometimes for me is more an ode to his lover. Other times it's simply an escape, it's just another little cog in the 'machine' of The Great Tasmanian Escape after all." – Christopher Coleman
"When I first listened to Paloona, I just wanted to run and move! The song is full of energy. The musical build up completely sweeps me up with it and I feel a connection to the emotion and expansive nature of the song. The lyrics too, are so beautiful and drive that feeling of going to a special place. We had a small window of time to shoot the video and so we took a chance on a sunny day to get out and capture some of that expansive, rolling, break-free feeling to go with the music. I had scouted the location and although it was not Paloona, some of the industrial and forest features of the landscape made me think of Paloona. Chris personifies the Tassie landscape in this video. His performance shows a real connection to place and how certain places can evoke certain feelings including that feeling that we sometimes just need to get away and be on our own in nature." – Ursula Woods
Coleman enlisted some of Tasmania's finest musicians to record the album in August 2018 with Glenn Richards (Augie March), Mike Noga (The Drones), Stu Hollingsworth (EWAH) and Kelly Ottaway (The Stitch), before expanding the lineup and inviting Frances White, Georgie Smith and Louisa Hogue to make up the live act which he says "grew into a Springsteen-esque Australiana rock thing nodding at The Go-Betweens, Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly". Made possible through the patronage of Kirsha Kaechelle (MONA), The Great Tasmanian Escape is equal parts fact and fiction, narrating a decade in the life of Jesse after he returns from serving in the Middle East. Struggling to integrate back into his home town of Sydney, Jesse embarks on an epic adventure across Tasmania - arriving with nothing, and leaving with nothing.