Brendan McMahon

Featured Artist of June 18, 2019
with the song: I Am

Growing up in the small town of Kapunda near South Australia’s Barossa Valley, Brendan McMahon discovered his love of music at the tender age of 14 after being “awed and floored” seeing Jimi Hendrix play on television; amazed by the sounds that Jimi could pull from a guitar and captivated by the iconic performer’s showmanship. Borrowing money from his mother (and paying it back at $2 a week) he promptly bought himself a $60 guitar and amp rig from a mate.
Initially wanting to be a glam-rock superstar in the 80s and 90s (think Van Halen, Kiss, Def Leppard), McMahon later transitioned to the more storytelling driven tunes of songwriters such as Paul Kelly, Harry Manx, Richard Thompson and Garth Brooks, artists that continue to inspire him today.
Spending his late teens and early twenties as a lead singer/lead guitarist in rock cover bands playing across Adelaide and country Victoria, McMahon honed his skills the hard way – in front of demanding Australian pub and club crowds. In 1998, and now bitten by both the songwriting and performance bug, McMahon released a 7-track EP called ‘Picture This’ with his band The Cunning Stunts. ‘The songs, mostly pop rock, now seem too cluttered and uninteresting compared to the music I write today, but I still love to listen to them once in a while as they bring back great memories.”
In 2015 and 2016, Brendan released the solo albums ‘Falling To Earth’ and ‘Marker 7-58’ under the moniker of Satellite Gods, and in doing so was fortunate enough to collaborate and work with some renowned Australian musicians including Peter Maslen (Boom Crash Opera), Jason Vorherr (Darryl Braithwaite), Bob Spencer (The Angels), Simon Hosford (Vanessa Amorosi) and Wilbur Wilde (Ol’ 55).
Brendan explains “I met these fabulous musicians through the recording studio I use (Soggy Dog Recording Studio in Upwey, Victoria). Not only did they contribute their instrumental talents to these albums, they also opened up my mind to new concepts and helped me understand the importance of ‘leaving space’ in the music.”
After supporting artists such as Russell Morris, Wendy Stapleton and The Chantoozies in Australia, Brendan released the LP ‘On This Fine Occasion’ in 2017, which received great reviews both locally and internationally.
“Whatever it is that makes his music just so amazingly addictive, the American audience is not only ready to take Brendan McMahon in as one of their own, but they’re ready to catapult him to a level of fame that he hasn’t already previously known in his already well accomplished and hard-fought career in this business.” - Cash Box Magazine, Canada
“On This Fine Occasion is a collection of tracks which blends a variety of multi genres seamlessly to create a sublime absorbing listen.” – Indie Buddie Around the same time, the EP ‘About Joe’ was released and promoted exclusively to the US market, again earning McMahon stellar reviews, and was followed soon after by a couple of live gigs in Nashville.
“This EP gets top marks” – No Depression “McMahon’s personal style of songwriting discovers a new peak with this release thanks to his continuing refinement of the cinematic imagery powering his songwriting. ‘About Joe’ is an intensely human collection; Brendan McMahon doesn’t write about life as he would have it, but rather life as he sees it … it’s every bit as immersive as a full length release and one of the more substantive studio recordings I’ve heard yet in 2018.” - Vents Magazine.
“I am amazed by this music … It’s so beautifully written and full of stories, expression and peace. Listen” - Beat Media.
“A luxurious listening experience.” – Blog Critics.
2019, and some 20-odd years after the release of his debut McMahon, who now calls Melbourne home, is gearing up for the release of a new LP ‘In The Moment’ – an album he feels is his strongest yet. Maturity, reflection and drawing on his personal experiences, his inspired yet refined lyrics again take listeners on a captivating journey.
Recorded with Steve Vertigan at Soggy Dog Recording Studios, and again drawing upon Australian music royalty in its creation – namely Dave Leslie (Baby Animals), Danny Spencer (Jimmy Barnes Band), Brett Kingman (James Reyne Band), and the previously mentioned Peter Maslen and Jason Vorherr, plus a string trio from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Sarah Curro, Gabi Halloran and Paul Zabrowarny), this powerful album embraces the essence of story-telling and leaves you thinking about the songs long after the last track finishes.
Having visited over 50 unique and varied countries over the last decade (McMahon and his wife share an extensive and adventurous bucket list), Brendan’s travel experiences, specifically his observations of history, cultures, people, architecture and nature are at the root of his creativity and songwriting. These themes again feature prominently throughout ‘In The Moment’.
The first single from the album ‘I Am’ proves that McMahon has always had an adventurous and explorative spirit. Ignited from a memory of a childhood attempt to run away from his warm and loving home Huckleberry Finn style - with clothes and food tied in to a hamper at the end of a stick. McMahon tidied his room in anticipation of a clean getaway, opened the escape hatch (his bedroom window) – and realised it was cold, dark, windy and raining outside. So the escape adventure was put on hold, but the itch to travel had been lit.
‘No Rush Today’, track five on the album was written on Mo’orea Island in Tahiti (French Polynesia) and is about the marine wildlife, the island itself and the backdrop of the mountains that appeared to resemble the shape of a dragon, while ‘Tethered’ was inspired from a passage from a book written by T Lobsang Rampa, which motivated McMahon to travel to Tibet to explore the local culture in more depth.
From Bhutan to the Baltics, Tahiti to Tibet or Morocco to the Maldives, being able to share his experiences, thoughts and conversations during these travels is what continues to deepen and drive this talented story teller. ‘In The Moment’ is yet another fine journey to take with Brendan McMahon.
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Full Album of: May 20, 2018
Album Title: Universalist EP
Brendan McMahon is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who records with some of the Australian music industry’s legends including Bob Spencer (Angels), Peter Maslen (Boom Crash Opera), Wilbur Wilde (Ol'55), Dave Leslie (Baby Animals) plus more.
Brendan recorded as Satellite Gods and released 2 albums under this name, Falling To Earth in 2015 and Marker 7-58 in 2016… Brendan is about to release his 3rd album, “On This Fine Occasion”, which will be his first release under his own name… due for release shortly. “My music touches many genres, my inspiration comes from people, travel & life experiences… I like to think of myself as story teller”.
Universalist EP (2017)
Universalist is a 5 track EP and prelude to the soon to be released "On This Fine Occasion" album. I've written a bit about each track below: I enjoy bushwalking and there is a national park behind where I live so I quite often walk up through that park. At the centre of the park there’s a look out with a trail marker erected on it… it stands about 12 to 14 foot tall and has a tag hanging from it which has “Marker 7-58” on it. It’s a very peaceful spot and it has amazing 360 degree view from it. Marker 7-58 was the inspiration for the title of my second album and also for the opening track on the Universalist.
Hotel Hemingway’s inspiration came from the Ambos Mundos Hotel in Havana, Cuba. Earnest Hemingway spent quite a bit of time in Cuba in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, he also wrote 3 of his novels in a room in the hotel. The room has been kept as Hemingway left it in 1961, his bed, fishing rods & typewriter are all still in the room as it’s been set up as a memorial to him. I visited Cuba a couple of years ago and wrote the song about Earnest and the hotel.
Friday’s In December’s inspiration came from Peter Maslen (Maz) who is the drummer on all of my music. We were sitting in the studio between takes and we started reminiscing about the freedom of youth and the importance music played in both of our young lives… there’s even a reference to one of Maz’s bands, Boom Crash Opera, in the lyrics… “hands up in the air” which is a Boom Crash song.
I don’t think there would be too many questions about the inspiration for the song Mother once listened to. I wrote this song in memory of my mother for my 3 sisters and myself… she passed away many years ago at a very young age. I also intended for this song to be one of utmost respect for everyone who has lost their own mother.
It’s a very personal song and I remember the night I was writing the lyrics as it’s the only song I’ve written with tears flowing freely down my face.
Beat is a song about the experience of recording my first solo album. I found myself in Soggy Dog Recording studios working with some of the finest musicians in Australia… musicians that I’d grown up listening to and admiring.
The experience was somewhat surreal but the musicians were great people and I’m very happy to regard them as friends these days… I’m still recording with many of them

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