ALBANY-raised musician Mark Neal is returning south for a belated celebration of the launch of his ironically named album, Debut.
Recorded and performed by Neal’s six-piece indie-rock band Odlaw, the album is heavily inspired by the musician’s time spent in the Great Southern.
“I was originally an Albany boy. I went to St Joseph’s and grew up in Denmark and Albany and love the area,” he said.
“I still have lots of friends and connections down there.”
Neal said Odlaw is currently his songwriting outlet, using it as a creative tool to explore his unique style of music.
“Odlaw started around five years ago when me and a friend were writ- ing songs together and eventually put a band together and started going through the motions of playing shows and stuff like that, but it’s evolved and changed so many times over the years,” he said.
“I recorded Debut after Odlaw almost failed and had broken up, but we put out the album during Covid when I had forced time off without a lot of expectations or thinking many people would really listen to it or care that much.
“But I got such great responses from people that I put a band together and started playing it.”
Neal said that locals would be able to recognise some of the locations that inspired certain tracks.
“There’s a song on it about the White Star Hotel which is where I used to hang out at a lot, and it’s got Kris Nelson singing on it as well because we’ve played music together for a long time and he’s an Albany-based musician,” he said.
The gig, which will be hosted at Six Degrees on Friday, December 11, will act as a late celebration of the launch of the album.
“We never really launched it properly during Covid, so now that we’ve got a proper band and are playing shows, I wanted to bring them all to Albany and play the whole album in full and celebrate it coming out,” Neal said.
“We haven’t played the album in full before, and there are so many weird tracks that I don’t even know how we’re going to do live.”
Tickets are available through odlawmusic. com