Sparse, brooding melodies and lyrical, uplifting ballads
that reinterpret country, folk, and old-time music traditions.
Zinnia Blue are an alt-country / Americana duo from Cygnet, Tasmania (Originally hailing from Melbourne, Victoria), featuring interweaving guitars and two-part harmonies. The pair create sparse and brooding melodies and lyrical, uplifting ballads that reinterpret country, folk, and old-time music traditions.
The heart of Zinnia Blue is married couple Kate Tucker and Matt Ellis who write and arrange the music together, creating a sound that is delicate, earthy, and emotional. Lead singer Tucker’s voice is sweet, rich, and rough around the edges, reminiscent of The Audreys’ Tasha Coates, and her simple guitar style blends perfectly with Ellis’ tastefully intricate melody guitar work. The pair’s voices weave closely together in old-timey two-part harmonies reminiscent of the Milk Carton Kids or Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris.
Tucker and Ellis are joined by a rotating band of guest musicians playing a diverse collection of instruments including dobro, lapsteel, banjo, mandolin, violin, and double bass. As a duo, or with their string band in tow, Zinnia Blue has played extensively around Melbourne’s inner north, including venues such as The Lomond Hotel, The Clifton Hill Hotel and The Wesley Anne.
They have also played many shows around Tasmania and interstate, and at festivals such as the Cygnet Folk Festival, Guildford Banjo Jamboree, Nariel Creek Folk Festival, and the Tamar Valley Folk Festival.
Zinnia Blue have distilled their unique sound and eclectic songs for their debut album The Garden, released in January 2020. The band celebrated the release with a Tasmanian and Victorian tour, including three shows at the Cygnet Folk Festival in Tasmania in January 2020, and an album launch at Wesley Anne in Northcote, Melbourne.
“Ellis and Tucker have made an album of their musical family album, and done it lovingly over time, choosing their lyrics and songs with care. It preserves the original work of Zinnia Blue, paying homage to the influences that (couple) Kate Tucker and Matt Ellis have collected along the way, including the Melbourne independent music scene (hence the cover from Fireside Bellows). The beauty of a recording that takes its time is the product of a band who have taken their time to build it. The gentle, broody and intimately honest – uncompressed – sound of the record conveys the love of family, community and landscape which has been so instrumental in creating this work.”
– Mandy Connell
“Zinnia Blue have a way with combining intelligent lyrics, beautiful harmonies and brilliant instrumental arrangements that pull the listener in. It’s easy to fall into their beautiful garden for hours without ever noticing.”
– The Music Below
Debut Album Out Now
Zinnia Blue launched their debut album The Garden in January 2020. Recorded and produced by Chris Ellis and the band in Lorne, Victoria, with mixing and mastering by Johnny ‘Hooves’ Clayton in Brunswick, Melbourne, the independent production was crafted piece by piece over four years.
A genuine labour of love, the eleven track long player features an eclectic set of original songs and two haunting cover songs from Melbourne’s own Jordie Lane and Tracy McNeil, as well as famed American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.
Showcasing lush but subtle layers of instrumentation, each song has been arranged to accentuate its particular mood and style. The album moves through diverse genres of country, bluegrass, folk, blues, and pop, but plants its feet firmly in Americana soil, with an organic Taswegian-Melbournian twist.
The heart of Zinnia Blue is married couple Kate Tucker and Matt Ellis who write and arrange the music together, creating a sound that is delicate, earthy, and emotional. The Garden is a reference to the place where the pair met and began playing music together, as well as an analogy for treading lightly on this Earth, and sharing its riches with those we love. The production of the album itself reflects this meaning, with no less than ten instrumentalists and half a dozen choir members contributing to the bountiful and evolving arrangements throughout the journey that is The Garden.