Listen: The Idea Of North chat with Hope 103.2’s Dwayne & Laura
If you’ve ever sat in an Idea of North show and swooned over the lingering harmonies of their ballads, now you can take that sound home with you.
The Aussie acapella group has released an album simply titled Ballads, based on their favourite live show, Ballads By Candlelight. It’s a collection of some of their most-requested songs, including Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, Sting’s Fields of Gold, Billy Joel’s Lullabye and Cold Chisel’s Flame Trees.
The group chatted to Hope 103.2’s Laura and Dwayne in the middle of their current tour, about the album.
“The Ballads By Candlelight show is one we’ve been doing around the country for about seven years now, and people just keep requesting it,” soprano Sally Cameron said.
“They love the ballads. We thought if they love it so much, we’d better make an album.”
Watch: The Idea of North sings ‘Angel’ from its new album ‘Ballads’.
How The Idea Of North Began
Now in its 17th year, The Idea Of North, nicknamed ‘Idea’ or ‘TION’, was born at a music school in the early ‘90s.
“Nick and I are the original members,” said bass vocalist Andrew Piper, “and we met at the Canberra School of Music, in the jazz choir. The original four members struck up a great friendship, and it turned out that we happened to have a soprano, alto, tenor and bass—which is a great combination of voices for acapella singing.
“We just did it for fun on the side, as we were pursuing our own professional careers, and it became more and more popular. After a while we decided that we’d make it our number one commitment and the rest is history.”
The group has recorded 12 albums, including a gospel collection called The Gospel Project, and has won numerous awards including an ARIA in 2013 for Best Jazz Album.
Singing By Sunset On A Cruise Ship Goes Viral
Like many acapella groups, TION at times breaks into spontaneous song when they find themselves in a location with great acoustics—like the bow of a cruise ship last week, where they recorded a song from their Ballads album.
“We were at the bow of the boat at sunset, and there was this little alcove formed by a glass roof, and somebody spoke in there and found that the echo was quite nice,” Sally said. “So we gathered under there and sang one of our songs, videoed it, and put it on Facebook, and it went pretty viral.”
The song is a cover of the Billy Joel song, Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel).
“We love doing the flashmob thing for the sheer joy of singing in unexpected and new places,” Sally said. “One of the wonderful things about acapella is that you can just rock up and sing anywhere. So we do.”
The Hope 103.2 Challenge: Sing ‘Vegetable Glue’ For Us!
To wrap up their interview, Hope 103.2 breakfast hosts Laura and Dwayne presented the group with a challenge: sing the words of the children’s book Vegetable Glue, to the tune of the Jackson Five’s I Want You Back.
TION’s performance did not disappoint!
Catch Them Live
The Idea Of North is currently in the middle of its Australia-wide Groove Sessions tour, with a Sydney Concert at The Basement in Circular Quay, on Thursday May 12.
They’re teaming up with the incredible Japanese jazz vocal percussionist, Kaichiro Kitamura, who beatboxes in jazz style.
They’ll be back in Sydney in June for the Vivid Festival, and their tour also takes in Wollongong, Newcastle, Penrith, Brisbane, Perth, Bunbury, Melbourne and Canberra.
For details see the Shows page of their website.