Adalita Srsen

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Adalita from Magic Dirt, Rockwiz, Canberra.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAdalita Srsen
Born (1971-02-25) 25 February 1971 (age 49)
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Occupation(s)Songwriter, singer, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1989–present
Associated actsDeer Bubbles
Magic Dirt

Adalita Srsen (/ˈsɜːrsən/, born 25 February 1971) is an Australian rock musician who is a founding member of the rock band Magic Dirt and a solo artist. She released her second solo album, All Day Venus, in September 2013.[1] She is known simply as Adalita.

Early life[edit]

Adalita was born in Geelong, Victoria on 25 February 1971.

She told Triple J's Richard Kingsmill in 2000 that she made her first guitar out of cardboard and wool, before she bought her first acoustic guitar. "I learnt a few chord progressions from a "how to" guitar book and then started writing and recording my own compositions, using two tape decks and layering guitar parts and vocal harmonies."[citation needed]

Adalita told Australian Guitar magazine (when she became the first female to grace the magazine's cover) in 2005 that she "was 18 or 19 when I bought my first my AU$90 acoustic (guitar) for whatever strange reason I bought it for, on a whim. Then I got an electric maybe six months later and started on that – what was that – in like 1989, 1990."[citation needed]

In the early 1990s, Srsen formed "Deer Bubbles" with Dean Turner.[2] The band didn't last long and by 1992, the pair, along with guitarist Daniel Herring, started a new band, briefly known as "The Jim Jims".[3] Srsen and Turner then formed Magic Dirt following the addition of drummer Adam Robertson.[1]

Solo work[edit]

In 2006, Adalita released her first material as a solo performer. She performed on two cover versions for the Mick Harvey-produced soundtrack of the Australian film Suburban Mayhem: "Double Dare" (originally by Hoyt Axton) and "Sex Beat" (Gun Club).[4][5] Along with Harvey, Dean Turner and Rowland S. Howard play on the tracks.[5] A promotional video was made for the single "Double Dare", featuring Adalita and Suburban Mayhem star Emily Barclay.[6] At the time, such solo work were side projects and Srsen soon resumed work with Magic Dirt.


Initially, Srsen harboured no intention to release her own music as a solo artist, but was eventually persuaded by Turner to undertake the production of her debut album. Production of the solo album commenced in 2009, with Turner responsible for production duties; however, Turner died during the recording process, in August 2009, due to a rare form of tissue cancer.[1] The album was then completed in 2010, while Magic Dirt was on hiatus following Turner's death.

To coincide with her support slot on the Blondie and Pretenders double-headline Australian tour, Srsen released the "Hot Air" on 26 November 2010.

Adalita Srsen in 2012

The eponymous debut album was released on 4 March 2011, though Liberation Music and debuted at No. 23 on the ARIA Album Chart.

All Day Venus[edit]

On 28 April 2013, Srsen announced on her Facebook fan page that she had started work on her second album at Birdland Studios, with long-time producer Lindsay Gravina.[7] She informed her Facebook fans on 24 May 2013 that Jim White from Dirty Three recorded drums for the album over two days.[8]

Srsen appeared on Australian television program RocKwiz in June 2013 and performed a new track, entitled "I Want Your Love".[9] In July 2013, she previewed the track "All Day Venus" and announced a small run of Australian east coast shows to preview the new material.[10] During the first show, at The Tote venue in Melbourne, Victoria, she announced that the album was to be titled All Day Venus.[citation needed]

On 8 August 2013, music website mess+noise announced that All Day Venus would be released on 20 September 2013, and revealed the album artwork and track listing. The website also featured a link to the album's first single, 'Warm Like You', which premiered on Triple J the same day. 'Warm Like You' was released on iTunes on 12 August 2013.[11]

In an October 2013 interview, Srsen described the experience of recording the album with Gravina and a new band:

I thought initially I should get a new producer, but in the end there were so many other new things going on—new sound, new band. I figured I needed something more stable. He knows what he can extract from me. He always pushes me, even though we're mates. It was a very intimate working relationship.[12]

Srsen also explained that the album is about a transformative experience in her life that resulted in a learning process whereby she felt like an "adult" afterwards.[12] During the creation process for the album, Srsen was influenced by American academic Joseph Campbell, mythology and Balkan folk music.[13] Srsen also revealed that she is most comfortable in "bare" aesthetic surroundings and, in relation to the writing period for All Day Venus: "I like a lot of space and calm."[14]

The album was voted into the third position in the 2013 readers poll of mess + noise, an Australian music website, in which readers selected their favourite albums of the year.[15]


In addition to the various collaborations that were undertaken with Magic Dirt, Srsen has appeared as a guest vocalist on songs by other Australian bands. In 1992, Srsen appeared on Velvet (Down) Underground, a tribute album for The Velvet Underground, providing vocals to The Clowns Smiling Backwards' rendition of "The Black Angel's Death Song".[16]

In 2002, Srsen collaborated with Bodyjar on the "Too Drunk To Drive" single and also appeared in the song's music video.[17]

In 2003, Srsen appeared on The Calculators' song "Cellophane" that was included on The Secret Life Of Us 3 soundtrack album. Also in 2003, she was one of many guest vocalists during an edition of Triple J's Live at the Wireless segment, in which You Am I performed "Jewels And Bullets" and "Damage".[18] Also in 2003, Srsen attended the "Mushroom Music Writers Bloc", a songwriting workshop for Australian artists—she and 78 Saab's Ben Nash penned the track, "Too Much Is Not Enough". The track was featured as a b-side on Magic Dirt's "Plastic Loveless Letter".[19]

During the 2006 Big Day Out tour, Srsen appeared on stage with The Beasts Of Bourbon[citation needed] and Magic Dirt supported the band on a 2007 Australian tour.[20] Also in 2006, Srsen appeared in the Australian short film The Desert by Glendyn Ivin.[4]

In 2007, Srsen collaborated with Katalyst (Ashley Anderson) on the track "Bladewalker", from the band's album What's Happening; the track was released on 25 August 2007.[21] Srsen also joined Katalyst on a national Australian tour in November of that year.[citation needed]

On 24 January 2009, Srsen appeared on an episode of RocKwiz and performed a duet with Gareth Liddiard (The Drones), as the pair covered The Saints' "Messin' with the Kid".[4][22][23] Srsen also appeared on the 2009 RocKwiz Christmas special, which was broadcast on 19 December 2009, performing a cover of The Pretenders' "2,000 Miles".[4][24]

During December 2011, in the period leading up to the Christmas holiday, Srsen embarked on a tour of the east coast of Australia with fellow Australian musician Kevin Mitchell[25] (the pair had also toured together with their bands, Jebediah and Magic Dirt). Entitled "Good Evans it's Xmas" (Mitchell was performing in the guise of Bob Evans), the tour featured the pair performing a rendition of "Must Be Santa",[26] a song that had also been covered by Bob Dylan in 2009.[27]

In 2013, Srsen recorded bass for fellow Melbourne musicians Dark Fair, as well as performances with the band at live shows.[28][29]

Alongside Mitchell, Srsen was selected by Australia's Double J radio station for the August 2014 "Artist in Residence" role. Adalita and Mitchell will present two Sunday episodes individually throughout August, and will then co-present the final episode, "Unforgettable Opening Lines", on 31 August. The Artist in Residence episodes air on Sunday and Srsen's individual episodes are titled "Heartache & Pain" and "The Dark Side".[30]


Srsen's self-titled debut album received the Australian Independent Record (AIR) Award for "Best Independent Album" in 2012. Srsen dedicated the award to Turner and then performed her song "Fool Around" to the awards ceremony audience.[31] The album was also nominated for the 2012 Australian Music Prize, alongside other artists, such as Gotye, Kimbra and Boy & Bear.[1]

Following the release of her second album, Srsen was selected as the 'Best Female Artist' by the online voters who participated in the 2013 Age Music Victoria Awards.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Srsen is an avid advocate of animal rights[33] and is also a vegan.[34] Srsen was about 18 years of age when she adopted a vegetarian diet, explaining, "It was a very easy decision to make and I never went back."[35]

Since Turner's death, Srsen has revealed that the loss of her longtime friend continues to permeate her life and has stated, "I think the shock of losing Dean has numbed me out a bit."[1] During the promotional period of All Day Venus in September 2013, Srsen stated that she is a keen photographer and likes to capture "people looking relaxed".


Magic Dirt[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
Adalita 23
All Day Venus
  • Released: 20 September 2013
  • Label: Liberation Music (LMCD0233)
  • Formats: CD, digital download


List of singles as lead artist and certifications
Title Year Album
"Double Dare" 2006 Suburban Mayhem soundtrack
"That's What I Heard" (with Robert Scott) 2010 non-album single
"Hot Air" Adalita
"The Repairer"[38] 2011
"Fool Around"[39]
"Warm Like You"[11] 2013 All Day Venus


  1. ^ a b c d e Ross Purdie (3 February 2012). "Tragedy entwined with Adalita award nod". Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  2. ^ Emma Miller (9 September 2005). "Magic circles". The Age. The Age Company Ltd. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  3. ^ Kingsmill, Richard (23 November 2000). "J Files: Magic Dirt". Triple J. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d "Adalita Srsen". International Movie Database. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b Ducey, Liam (8 November 2008). "Magic Dirt – Adalita Srsen". Rockus magazine. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  6. ^ McDermott, Lauren (2 July 2009). "Just Adalita, no more". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  7. ^ Adalita (28 April 2013). "Update". Adalita on Facebook. Facebook. Retrieved 9 August 2013.[non-primary source needed]
  8. ^ Adalita (24 May 2013). "Update". Adalita on Facebook. Facebook. Retrieved 9 August 2013.[non-primary source needed]
  9. ^ SBS ONE (29 June 2013). "RocKwiz S11 Ep146 Adalita Solo Performance" (Video upload). SBS On Demand. SBS. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  10. ^ Mike Hohnen (8 July 2013). "Adalita Unveils New Single 'All Day Venus', Announces East Coast Tour Dates". Music Feeds. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Adalita – Warm Like You". iTunes Store.
  12. ^ a b Iain Sheddon (11 October 2013). "Adalita's journey of rediscovery is pushing to rekindle the magic". The Australian. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  13. ^ Jenny Valentish (14 October 2013). "Adalita: All Day Venus". Time Out Melbourne. Time Out Group Ltd. Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  14. ^ Kate Morgan (17 September 2013). "Two Minutes with Adalita | Magic Dirt". Urban List Pty Ltd. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  15. ^ "M+N Readers Poll 2013". mess + noise. mess + noise p/l. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Various Artists/Sampler". Musik Sammler. 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  17. ^ soinmaster (21 June 2007). "Bodyjar – Too Drunk To Drive" (Video upload). Google, Inc. Retrieved 5 March 2013 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "You Am I and Friends: Live at the Wireless". CBS Interactive. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  19. ^ "Plastic Loveless Letter – single". iTunes Preview. Apple, Inc. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  20. ^ yeahproductions (23 September 2007). "Magic Dirt – at the Metro, 22/9/07" (Video upload). Google, Inc. Retrieved 5 March 2013 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ "Bladewalker (ft. Adalita)". bandcamp. 25 August 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  22. ^ "Adalita & Gareth Liddard". SBS TV. 24 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  23. ^ "Adalita vs Gareth Liddiard on RocKwiz". Remote Control Records. 28 January 2009. Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  24. ^ "RocKwiz Christmas Special 09 – Adalita Srsen". SBS TV. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  25. ^ "Bob Evans and Adalita – Good Evans it's Xmas". Time Out Sydney. Time Out Group Ltd. 17 December 2011. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  26. ^ BobEvansMusic (18 December 2011). "Bob Evans & Adalita: Good Evans It's Xmas! soundcheck" (Video upload). Google, Inc. Retrieved 5 March 2013 – via YouTube.
  27. ^ BobDylanVEVO (24 November 2009). "Bob Dylan – It Must Be Santa" (Video upload). Google, Inc. Retrieved 5 March 2013 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ Dark Fair (23 October 2013). "Let Yourself Be Free". Dark Fair at Bandcamp. Bandcamp. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  29. ^ Adalita (22 November 2013). "DARK FAIR – BASS DUTIES – Tonight!!". Adalita on Facebook. Facebook. Retrieved 25 December 2013.[non-primary source needed]
  30. ^ "Introducing Adalita and Kevin Mitchell: Double J's Artists In Residence". Double J. ABC. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  31. ^ "LAST YEAR". AIR. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  32. ^ Martin Boulton (21 November 2013). "Renee Geyer inducted into Hall of Fame at Age Music Victoria Awards". The Age. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  33. ^ "Magic Dirt: Tough Love". Animal Liberation Youth. Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  34. ^ "Adalita". Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  35. ^ Adalita (26 May 2010). "Guest Post: Adalita Gives us the Dirt on Why She Went Veg". Hot & Sour Scoop. PETA Asia-Pacific. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  36. ^ Peak chart positions in Australia:"Discography Adalita". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  37. ^ Liberation Music (2012). "Adalita". Liberation Music. Liberation Music Pty. Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  38. ^ THE PASSPORT LABEL (2012). "ADALITA". THE PASSPORT LABEL. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  39. ^ "Adalita – Fool Around (Alternate Edit)". iTunes Store.