Bertie Blackman's first encounter with her artistic self came as a child sashaying across her mother and father's paint strewn studio floor. The daughter of iconic Australian artist Charles Blackman, not many musicians can boast a foundation of emotional expression like Bertie, "I come from a family of painters, so everything I do is pretty visual. You can see and feel my music".
Bertie first stepped onto the scene with 'Headway' (2004), her folk-inspired debut album powered by acoustic guitar. The album’s single 'Favourite Jeans' became Bertie's radio breakthrough and saw her dubbed "Australia's underground queen". On her second album, 'Black' (2006) Bertie returned armed with an electric guitar delivering a sexier, gritty rock sound. "There's always been something about a feisty girl with an axe and a pen..." (Mess + Noise - 2006)
Constantly evolving as an artist, Bertie continues to develop her sound on 'Secrets and Lies' (2009) blending electronic influences with her signature vocal style and penchant for brutally honest lyrics in a modern exploration of pop music. "I wanted to do something more electronic and less band-oriented" says Blackman, "It's dark, but it's also a pop record".
'Secrets and Lies' is a result of the meeting of great minds including Sydney based UK producer Lee Groves (Goldfrapp, Gwen Stefani) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye, Architecture in Helsinki.)
The album's first single 'heart' is a pulsating rhythmic track that buzzes with a fusion of tribal beats and acid-Motown grooves. 'heart' was released in March 2009 and was added to high rotation on Triple J and across the board on commercial radio network Nova. Altogether 'heart' was the 4th most added song on Australian radio in its premiere week of release. 'heart' was also an Australian iTunes Single of the Week in April and received more than 17,000 downloads, one of the nation's most downloaded Singles of the Week of all-time.
The album Secrets and Lies was released on May 8, 2009 on Forum 5 Recordings with distribution through MGM and was presented as a Triple J Feature Album received widespread critical acclaim.
The album's second offering is the single 'Thump', mixed by Dave Bascombe (Tears for Fears/Royksopp) and mastered by Jon Davis at Metropolis London. Haunting vocals soar, industrial electronics collide and the track troughs into eerie breaths of quiet throughout. For Bertie, 'Thump' captures that "feeling of walking home late at night; your footsteps hit the pavement and your whole body pulsates. You become really aware of your breath and heartbeat."
The 'Secrets and Lies' tour precedes national performances on the Parklife Festival in September/October 2009 alongside LaRoux, The Rapture and Metric.
Bertie delivers pop music with depth. Her voice is seductive, her lyrics are inventive and honest and she mesmerizes as a live performer. "When I’m playing music, I just disappear into what's going on," she says, "it all just sort of channels through." After launching 'Secrets and Lies' to sold-out shows in Melbourne and Sydney, Bertie is set to embark on an Australian tour throughout August, followed by performances around the nation on the Parklife Festival alongside LaRoux, Little Boots and Metric.