Brumby: in sync with the times

FOR 20 years, she has toured a well-worn path across Australia - but Monique Brumby insists you can't take Tasmania out of the girl.

Fresh from the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and ChillOut Melbourne, the Devonport- raised singer songwriter is in the state to unveil her latest offering: solo album number five.

Brumby will play shows at the Butter Factory in Burnie, the Bream Creek Show, and at MONA next weekend - Tasmania's first live taste since November 2012.

And, boy, is she glad to be home.

"We're kind of part of a secret club, us Tassie folk," Brumby says.

"We know how special the island is, we know the energy and beauty of it - people down here have always given me a lot of support.

"I can see myself retiring down here for sure."

The 39-year-old has amassed 11 studio releases and collected two ARIA awards on the back of her evolving indie-rock sound that produced hits such as Fool for You (1996) and Mary (1997).

She said her latest self-titled release was her most polished to date, with synthesisers, loops and MIDI-tracked string arrangements incorporated into several new tracks.

"I think I'll always have that traditional pop-rock-singer- songwriter kind of vibe - but these new electro-fusion elements have been received really well," she says.

"Playing it live, I have felt the energy in the crowd shift.

"There are a lot of bands doing this now - people like Gotye, Kimbra ... you program some sounds and beats and have them loop.

"There are so many different sounds and possibilities."

Brumby's album was co- produced by Tasmanian collaborator Nick Larkins, with most of the recording done in her Melbourne home.

She said many of the songs were written during her regular visits back to see family in Hobart and on the state's East Coast.

"There's something about Tassie that helps me think clearly and be creative," she says.

"I think because my family is down here, I feel quite connected.

"Some people grow up in suburbia and end up resenting it, and never go back.

"Every time I touch down in Tassie, I feel really excited to be here."

Email adruce@examiner.com.au

Twitter @AlexDruce1987

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