This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Kirsty Stegwazi


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

Evocative/eclectic, beautiful & fierce

Status:

Most recent release, Jailbirds 2001. In 2003 she does some solo shows but her main focus seems to be a band, The Bites

See also:

Kirsty Stegwazi's MySpace page

Some Kristi Stegwazi info at Lost and Lonesome Recording Co.

See The Ectophiles' Guide entry for her band, The Bites

Comparisons:

Kristin Hersh, Rachel Smith

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Kirsty Stegwazi is an obscure but excellent artist from Melbourne. I've been her fan for many, many years and after her 2001 release, Jailbirds, I elevated Kirsty to the status of My Personal Goddess. And naturally she promptly vanished from the music scene...I was not happy. But eventually I learned Kirsty didn't leave the scene altogether, she just stopped working solo in favour of starting a band, The Bites.
     I cannot think of any direct comparison for her. Perhaps Kristin Hersh might come closest, but really, she's like those other people who are not like anybody else, OK? Odd tunings, strange chords, wonderful, soulful voice. And if you get to see her in person, weird yet endearing sense of humour.... The years pass, yet she remains one of my favourite artists. Jailbirds was my album of the year in 2001, and now holds secure place in my "10 Desert Island Disks". (afries@zip.com.au)

Recommended first album:

Jailbirds

Recordings:


A Good Day ep

Release info:

1997—Mushroom Records

Availability:

Rare

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Comments:

Her first real release (she previously recorded two tapes she'd sell at her gigs). Starting with minimalist yet oddly catchy "Swim Around Love Song" followed by chunky "A Good Day", the mood switches to subdued, somewhat spooky "Arachnid With Strings" then jumps to all-out rocking "Suffer". The closing track, "She Cut Her Hair" is perhaps one weaker moment on otherwise excellent record. (afries@zip.com.au)

Keep Still

Release info:

1998—Way Over There Records, distributed by Shock Records

Availability:

Rare

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Produced by:

Kirsty Stegwazi

Comments:

Nine tracks this time, and released on truly independent label, this is another excellent recording in the unique Stegwazi style. There are the usual odd chords and chunky riffs, quick changes of mood and volume from nearly whispering to roaring (and she *can* roar when she wants to), now she seems off-key, now it seems by design—listening to her records can be a bumpy ride, yet compelling at the same time. Her sense of humour comes through in her lyrics, but can really be apreciated when attending her performances.... I'll never forget her running commentary on goings-on in the male toilets she could glimpse from the stage every time someone went in or out...but you'd just have to be there. And that's the problem—sadly, she'll probably never be widely popular. Then again, if she was, she'd lose her most endearing quality: just like with many Ecto artists, it is precisely the immediacy of the whole affair that makes it so special. (afries@zip.com.au)

Jailbirds

Release info:

2001—Lost and Lonesome Recording

Availability:

Available in Australia

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Produced by:

Kirsty Stegwazi

Comments:

My record of the year is Kirsty Stegwazi, Jailbirds. I've been a great fan of this obscure artist from Melbourne for many years now, so it's no suprise I like this album. But is it really better than anything else released this year? Well, I'm objective enough to know her appeal is far from universal, even here on Ecto. But whatever your reaction might be, one thing is for sure: her sound is all of her own. I think of her as a kind of raw talent, untempered by any kind of formal training. Which might be completely off the mark; for all I know she's been having music lessons since before she could walk (which in a way would make the way she sounds even more remarkable).... She reminds me of Veda Hille in a way—they both polarise opinions, and they seem to make a conscious effort to shun "accessible" in favour of more difficult path. Difficult both musically and in terms of financial rewards they can expect. Kirsty seems well connected and respected on Melbourne's music scene and she can be found in different collaborations and in the credits as a studio musician. But there's no way on Earth she'll find herself on the charts with this stuff! Though on her earlier record she sings, "I'll lick your boots till they glow in the daylight/if you promise me I won't stay this poor" on Jailbirds she shows no signs of softening. These songs are just as stubbornly hers, strange and clearly not appealing to the radio programmers as ever. Still, they worm their way into my subconscious until I catch myself humming them without even realising I'm doing that, and when I sit in front of my CD rack trying to figure out what to play, as often as not I find I'm already holding Jailbirds in my hand. That's why she gets to be my Number One. (afries@zip.com.au)

Why the ads?
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2012-05-09 17:52:51.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.