Hein Cooper comes home to practise Art of Escape

Hein Cooper has been on one heck of a ride these past 12 months, collecting some impressive achievements like spins on the BBC, a slot at Falls Festival, two hit singles on Triple J and spending time in Canada for his debut album The Art of Escape.

Now the indie-folk musician is back home in Australia awaiting the release of his record and embarking on a 13-date tour, which began in Byron Bay on February 18. Cooper told Music Insight he’s been looking forward to getting onstage this month.

“I’m really happy to be here doing my thing,”

“This is my home town and I love playing to Australians because it’s where my songs come from.”

Working closely alongside producer Marcus Paquin, the LP will have Cooper’s innate soulful vocals and folksy self-contained assertiveness that we’ve come to love from his previously released EP of the same title.

“I went to Montreal last year for two months to record the album,” said Cooper.

“We spent the first week or so laying down some final changes to the songs – a couple tweaks of bridge sections and then we spent the remainder of the time between the two of us and a drummer laying down everything else.”

The record will feature his current track Rusty – a breezy slice of summer that will have you in high spirits after a single play. The acoustic pop tune is one of ten yet to be released songs Cooper has written over a period of time.

“It was a collection of songs that I’d written over the last five or six years and when I was writing the album escape, transformation and change were the main themes in my life as a young adult.”

The initial decision to release an EP before a fully completed album was one that Cooper used to his advantage. It was both a teaser for fans and an opportunity for him to shape his artistic talents.

“It gave me the time to give people an idea of who I am as an artist and nail the record before its release.”

Playing all those bars really helped me with my song-writing prior to being able to tour my own music, because I had an unbiased audience every night of the week, who didn’t know who I was and didn’t really care.

His introduction to Paquin was a brief one – a 45-minute Skype chat to be exact – but that was all it took for Cooper to get on a plane and head to Montreal.

“It just turned out to be an awesome collaboration, I loved working with him and the artists he has worked with – the vibes he’s created are amazing.”

His partnership with Paquin turned out so well that Cooper recruited his good friend Dan Jamieson to help him out with a music video for Rusty. The footage was shot only a short 30 minutes away from Cooper’s hometown of Milton.

“He worked with me on the concept, we were originally going to shoot it in Sydney, but we wanted it to look like a deserted place from a timeless era.”

Fans of Sydney-based singer-songwriter Patrick James will be happy to note that he will be joining Cooper on the road for a few of his shows. His natural flair for soft acoustics and stirring harmonies caught the attention of his fellow songsmith.

“I’m a fan of his music, he came along to one of my shows at the Oxford Art Factory last year and we made a decision there and then to have him on tour,” said Cooper.

“We don’t actually know each other that well so it’ll be an interesting time.”

The Art of Escape is available March 4. You can pre-order it on iTunes now.

For tickets, visit Cooper’s website.

Tour Dates

Thursday, February 18 – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay NSW

Friday, February 19 – The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, February 20 – Sol Bar, Maroochydore QLD

Thursday, February 25 – Workers Club, Geelong VIC
**With Patrick James**

Friday, February 26 – Howler, Melbourne VIC
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, February 27 – Anita’s Theatre (foyer), Wollongong NSW
**With Patrick James**

Friday, March 4 – The Basement, Sydney NSW
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, March 5 – Transit Bar, Canberra ACT
**With Patrick James**

Sunday/Monday, March 6/7 – Nannup Festival, Nannup WA

Saturday, March 12 – Lizottes, Newcastle
**With Patrick James**

Friday, March 18 – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide SA
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, March 19 – Jimmy’s Den, Perth WA
**With Patrick James**

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