This week has certainly been a good news one. And, for once, I’m not actually talking just about me.
One of my friends from early theatre days, the gorgeous and talented Miranda Barber (pictured above), left Australian shores for London (as many of us have done) to follow her dreams of working as an actor and singer. Last year, she entered a singer-songwriter online showcase called Slice The Pie. In September 2007 the public voted her as the winner of the showcase and Miranda received 15,000 pounds sterling to make her first album.
In June this year, her debut album, Lips’ Decision was launched in the UK to rave reviews, which was so very exciting. But, the latest news is that Miranda has just been nominated by the Australian Songwriter’s Association in the Top 10 Best Songs for 2008 in their Folk/Acoustic category – for not just one song, but TWO!!
Tracks Sweetheart’s Embrace and Too Damn Hard (which I LOVE – such a great song) are the two that have been nominated from the album, and the winners of the awards will be announced at the ASA National Awards Night in Sydney on August 28.
I can’t say how thrilled I am for her. She’s such an amazing talent and deserves all the accolades and attention.
I’m even more excited for her because when she and I were spending time treading the boards together, singing and acting our little hearts out, she was diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal chord and told she would never sing again. I remember all of us going into shock (as I know she did) and not quite believing the news. She was a serious star on the rise and that news was, well, unreal.
But, she didn’t accept what the doctors told her and she persevered and rehabilitated her voice and … well, the rest is history – the chord recovered and look at her now!!
Haven’t experienced Miranda’s amazing voice and beautiful songwriting skills yet? Shame on you. Get over to her official site here. And listen to samples of her work here. And buy her album (or an earlier EP) while you’re there.
Need more convincing? Here’s a sample of what people who don’t know her personally are saying:
“Barber plays the audience & piano like a Broadway nightclub hostess in a Sinatra film. The rich, cigarettes-&-whisky harmonics in her voice give her songs a seductive mix of the vampish & innocent. She has the rare gift of projecting intimacy whilst opening up a peephole into her personal world.” – Smallfish
“Originally from Melbourne but based in London, Miranda Barber specialises in torch songs powered by energy-saving light bulbs … all the heady mournful balladry of Bessie Smith or Billie Holiday, but it’s all executed with the sparse efficiency of Joni Mitchell or Damien Rice.” – Overplay
Couldn’t have put it better myself. ‘Nuff said.