Loene Carmen

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Loene Carmen
Born 1970 (age 44–45)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actress
Years active 1987–present
Website www.loenecarmen.com

Loene Carmen (born in 1970 Adelaide, Australia) is an Australian singer, songwriter and actress.

Early life and career[edit]

Carmen's father is rock/jazz/blues pianist Peter Head. She wrote and publicly performed her first original song aged ten, accompanied by her father. Head played piano on It Walks Like Love and in several of Carmen's former bands, including acting as musical director for Nashville inspired country revue act Honky Tonk Angels, which also featured Justine Clarke and Noah Taylor. After forming a variety of bands across various genres since the early 1990s, Carmen began writing and releasing solo albums in 2002. A review in Australian Stage states "Loene Carmen sits in a magical, rarefied space, somewhere between Tom Waits and Dolly Parton..."

Carmen was discovered working in a Kings Cross pizza bar as a teenager and cast in John Duigan's The Year My Voice Broke (1987) for which she was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Best Actress award. Other notable roles followed including Sallie-Anne Huckstepp in the docudrama Blue Murder and Christine in Alkinos Tsilimidos' haunting drama Tom White, for which she also received nominations for Australian Film Institute Best Supporting Actress and IF Best Actress. In 2011 Carmen appeared in successful Australian film Red Dog.


Carmen has released four albums to date (2011), most recently It Walks Like Love (Inertia) on 5 December 2009, hailed as "...a truly outstanding record and, with it, Loene Carmen has not only created her finest piece of work to date, but also one of the albums of the year."

The album was produced by Burke Reid and with guitarist Brock Fitzgerald and drummer Samuel Pearton from The Scare and Sam Worrad from The Holy Soul on bass. Special guests include Jed Kurzel (Mess Hall) on duet "Oh Apollo!", Peter Head on piano with Tex Perkins and Holiday Sidewinder also making an appearance on backing vocals. Her third album Rock'n'Roll Tears, co written and recorded with Jed Kurzel and Sam Worrad, attracted standout reviews. In 2004, Slight Delay was released to minor critical acclaim on Reverberation.[1]

Tracks, Nashville High and Rock n Roll Tears were featured tracks on the Australian series Love My Way. "Born Funky Born Free" was featured in the film Fat Pizza.

In March 2010 Carmen released mini-album Leave It at the Door, a home recorded collaboration with "the mysterious Krystina" under the moniker "T: Lo" in 2003.

In December 2011 she released limited edition mini album Hard Candy Christmas under the name Sweet Carmo—featuring solo cover versions of country classics by artists such as Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette.

January 2012 saw the launch of "Loene Carmen's Parallel Universe", a lounge room variety show filmed for the internet.

Carmen performs with a rotating line-up of musicians that has included Mess Hall, The Holy Soul, Warren Ellis and Jim White (Dirty Three) and "X"'s Cathy Green. She has also toured solo, opening for Gareth Liddiard (The Drones) and Renee Geyer in Australia as well as Mick Harvey in Europe. She showcased solo at SxSW in 2009.

She has contributed music writing to anthologies Meanjin on Rock 'n' Roll: All Yesterday's Parties and Your Mother Would be Proud: True Tales of Mayhem and Misadventure (edited by Jenny Valentish & Tamara Sheward) and is published in the 2011 "Women of Letters" collection (edited by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire).


  • Sweet Carmo: Hard Candy Christmas (2011; digital release/limited edition of 25)
  • T: Lo: Leave It at the Door (2010; digital release)
  • Loene Carmen: It Walks Like Love (2009)
  • Loene Carmen: Rock'n'Roll Tears (2007)
  • Loene Carmen: Slight Delay (2004)
  • Loene Carmen: Born Funky Born Free (2001)
  • The Charismatics: Fateful Gaze EP (1998)
  • Automatic Cherry: Slow Burner (1996)
Guest artist



Music videos[edit]

  • "Mimic the Rain" (2009)
  • "Nashville High" (2006)
  • "The Things That Matter" (2004)
  • "My Friends Call Me Foxy" (2002)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1987: Australian Film Institute Awards nomination for Best Actress (The Year My Voice Broke)
  • 2004: Australian Film Institute Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Tom White)
  • 2004: Inside Film Awards nomination for Best Actress (Tom White)
  • 2004: Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Tom White)

Band history[edit]

  • Slow Hand (c. 2000–2005)
  • Loene Carmen Experience (c. 2000)
  • Automatic Cherry (c. 1995–1998)
  • The Charismatics (c. 1996–1998)
  • White Trash Mamas (c. 1993–1995)
  • HonkyTonk Angels (c. 1991–1993)

Personal life[edit]

Carmen has two sons, Chester Van (b. 2011) and Dutch Bon (b. 2007) by her partner, actor Aden Young and a daughter, Holiday Sidewinder (b. 1990).

Young directed the music video for "Nashville High" and 'meticulously edited'[2] Carmen's "Mimic the Rain" clip. Carmen co-composed the score for Young's short film The Rose of Ba Ziz, as well as appearing in it.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ 'Keeping It Reel, Jack Sargeant in Film Ink, February 2010 Issue

External links[edit]