t.k. bollinger photo by Matthew Engert
Master tunesmith and inveterate rock dweller t.k. bollinger began writing music in the final decade of the last millennium. He sharpened his quill and his voice in the grungy pub rock venues of Melbourne, singing and playing drums with Rifled Slug and later The Stinking Badger of Java, before abandoning regular performance for the studio and songwriting.

Dabbling in electronica in the early OO’s, he produced a number of experimental EDM LPs while heading a cast of motley musical fools on 3CR’s late night electro improv Dreaming Electric. Trying his had at DJing, he played every floor of the Inflation nightclub (a dubious milestone) as well as joined the crew of the Barmah Festival, coordinating the Chill Stage in 2002.

When the lads and layettes started to change the doof scene Bollinger defected to the country, both geographically and musically. 2005 was the birth year of what was to become the artist he is today. While road tripping around Australia he listened to a menagerie of sad singer/songwriters, Americana and old school folk artists. On his return to Melbourne he recorded and released the Sad City Demo and then an album or EP every year on his crowd/self funded vanity label, Yippie Bean.

In 2021, with a back log of material he had been producing in lockdown, he decided to release an EP a month. Known as the Ordinary EPs, each song was codified by Bollinger’s approach to lyrical composition – examining his everyday triumphs and concerns, burrowing inside to look for meaning with a mind towards uncovering acceptance or understanding. Bollinger’s love of orchestral arrangements is also on show in these recordings. Bacharach, Lee Hazlewood and David Angel come to mind as solid sonic influences on these EPs. Not the hippest sound, perhaps, but definitely giving these songs a supremely satisfying orchestral punch to back the weightiness and the light of the finely tuned wordsmithing and song craft that Bollinger has produced.

These songs are relatable because they examine what each of us confront in our day to day existence, expressed with sympathy and eloquence. A celebration of the joys and trials that life presents to each of us regardless of who or what we are – the universal ordinary concerns of a diverse and desperate humanity.

Read on