DC Cardwell's affecting song "I Am Still The Same" won the two top prizes in the 2011 Australian Catapult Song Contest - the overall prize and the Judges' Choice prize. This is the lead-off track on DC's acclaimed album "Some Hope", available from CD Baby.
Here are some of the Judges' comments from leading figures in the Australian music industry:
John Foreman (Australian Idol music director):
Fantastic evocative vocal tone and great lyrics. Nice vocal layering builds the song. The song successfully creates an atmosphere that captures the story of the lyrics. It's a very moving song.
Tony Bourke (Musician - Eskimo Joe):
Head and shoulders above most others. Fantastic lyricism and storytelling leaves you hanging after every phrase. Chord structure very mature, intricate and flowing. The lazy rolling drive of the music is a genius paradox to the sadness within the subject matter. Feels like you are creeping into a box inside the writer’s head, very provocative. The 2nd verse "electric downstrokes" really push the song along into a more subtle field. Chorus harmonies are a perfect melancholy. "Do I have to spell it out, when I can barely spell my name?" ...true songwriting genius.
Natalie Gauci (Singer):
Beautiful chords and melodies, very natural lyrics, fantastic performance, captures emotion.
Heidi Peitzner (Agent/Promoter):
It's a simple song but the melancholy, almost pathetic tone and lyrics are endearing and resonates. I can see this on the soundtrack to a Wes Anderson movie.
DC's distinctive and affecting voice is perfect for his songs which take an honest and often wry look at life, peppered with positivity and redemptive possibility. Combine that with his maddeningly catchy hooks, pop-smart arrangements and melodic lead guitar breaks and you have Beatlesque songs that you will want to hear again and again. Now based in Australia, he grew up in Northern Ireland and also spent some years in Canada.
"He writes from the heart in the same way as Neil Young and applies similar poetic humour to Ray Davies. There ain't a bad song on this album... [it] is overflowing with damn good songs that Cardwell could publish and earn a good income from." - Toxic Pete Brown
"Now it's time for the world to discover his exceptional songwriting/performing gifts." - Paul Freeman, Palo Alto Daily News
"This guy is a blast, simple hooks with a powerpop touch that embeds humor catchy turnarounds and a sense of the 60's with a bit of the 80's. This is a fun guy you should check out." - Loren Weisman, Brain Grenade
"Seriously I have a great respect for your songwriting and style. You have a unique delivery that for the uninitiated conjures the vocal prowess of Thom York blended with the edge of John Lennon and a tip of the hat to Bob Dylan. Bravo DC!!" - Doug Mitchell (record producer/engineer)
"DC Cardwell helps to prove my theory that the closer you get to Antarctica, the happier your songs sound... everyone from Crowded House to Midnight Oil, seems to have a knack for sweet melodies; and DC is no exception." - Bruce Greenberg, LIVE365.com
“Exceptionally fine songs, DC. Who knew that depression, bitter irony, loneliness and mistrust could be so much fun? I'm not saying that sarcastically. You dig deep with such gentle and humorous resignation it's impossible not to enjoy the bitter truths you unearth. I can't pick a favorite song. They're all my favorites.” - Christopher Morse (songwriter/publisher)
"An album filled with publishable songs and potential television soundtracks perhaps for the likes of shows like 'Friends' or 'That 70’s Show'." - Donna Greene (Global Thunda Network)
"That's a beautiful cover [of Don't Do Anything, not on the Some Hope album]. The feel takes it to a different place that I really like." - Sam Phillips
"Occasionally you find something so awesome that you have to put it up. Browsing through the MySpace universe I happened to come across a Melbourne artist by the name of DC Cardwell. It's my first taste of his music and it's really really good" - Baron von Hutch, Sandwich Club
"Hey David that Birthday song is well cool, that's yours???? Probably the best birthday song out there. Thought it was a Beatles track, very good work Sir" - Hush Art (artist)
"Listened to your stuff and absolutely loved it!! Beautiful touching melodies and lyrics. Birthday Present" is a heart felt song!!" - Tali Birenberg (singer-songwriter)
"DC has a style that is cozily familiar yet has originality running thru its veins. Lyrics that will make you heart melt as well as stretch your mind to its limits. He has a voice that shines above all others these days.I myself have recently purchased some of DC's music & it only makes me want more." Richie Auriemma (singer-songwriter)
For fans of The Beatles, Crowded House, Neil Young, Ron Sexsmith, Sam Phillips, T-Bone Burnett, Bob Dylan, The Band, Elliott Smith, Jon Brion, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Larry Norman, Phil Keaggy, The Kinks, Ray Davies, The Mutton Birds, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Rockpile, Jellyfish, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Gillian Welch, Richard Thompson, The Byrds, the Rutles, Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Mark Heard, Victor Stranges, The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Roy Wood, ELO