Exclusive Album Premiere: Jack Biilmann – Divided Mind (2023 LP)

Jack Biilmann

Canberra-based singer/songwriter Jack Biilmann is an artist with an innate gift for delivering songs that resonate strongly. There is an honesty and warmth to them that is familiar and salving. Tomorrow he releases his latest long-play, the exquisite Divided Mind record. We’re delighted today to have the first listen of the album ahead of its release.

Divided Mind is split into two halves. Part A is a collection of acoustic tracks, and Part B has Jack delivering blues/rock with his newly formed backing band, The Black Tide. So, you open up with some classic acoustic folk/rock, and are then treated to some epic foot-stomping blues and rock. It’s the best of both worlds.

As with earlier work from Jack, the songs have an earthy quality to them. The guitar work is beautiful, and the production amplifies the message and delivery. Providing backing vocals is the fabulous Sara Flint (Apricot Ink).

Divided Mind follows on from his much-revered 2021 release Full Circle.

Jack has an extensive tour lined up to showcase the record. It kicks off on Friday 16th June at The Basement in Canberra, concluding back in Canberra on the 7th October, hitting many venues and country towns in between. Full details are below.

So, to celebrate the release of the album, and to amplify the experience of the premiere, Jack has taken a deep-dive into the tracks on the album for the AU. So press <play>, enjoy Divided Mind, and read on.



Jack Biilmann – Divided Mind – Track by Track

Side A:

All tracks were written and refined for the space of The Round Plain Church, Rocky Plain NSW. Each song was tracked three times completely live and then the best take was picked for mixing.  It’s raw, it’s emotive and it’s real. Everything I try to be as an artist when I have an acoustic guitar in hand. Featuring Sara Flint (Apricot Ink ) on backing vocals.

“Hot Blood”
I wrote this one about my hot blooded nature. It’s been a blessing and a curse my whole life.  It’s about throwing yourself into situations, goals,relationships with not much idea but plenty of intent and passion. I wanted to bring the biggest vibe possible using the live/acoustic elements at my disposal and bring the album in with a bang. I think this track is a real statement of intent and a real achievement to capture in such a live sounding space. Super proud of it and at this stage, is the only Side A track that also has a band version for live shows.

“Drink The Water”
DTW was inspired by a line my Father said when we were visiting the high country. He would prompt my brother and I to drink the water from the river as you “won’t taste better and more pure water”. With my family heritage in mind, I wrote the song about no matter where life takes me, these places will always remain so important to me. We literally finished writing this one on the day and Sara’s vocals are amazing. There is also a hint of celtic music about it. I look forward to people listening to this one and hoping they can relate it to their places.

“Trouble’s Coming”
Since I was young I had a nose for a bad or toxic person. I can usually see it coming and remove myself before I get hurt or caught up in a bad situation.  This track details that idea and showcases how my songs start on the acoustic guitar. On side B there is a full band version which reveals where we landed on it. This one has a very raw feel and was a great fit for the space. The resonator and vocals just sit so well together.

“Skipping Stone”
SS is about the headspace I get in before the need to escape into the mountains to clear my mind. Themes of self doubt, not recognising success, too much self pressure, the grief of losing family and wrongly focused energy shine through. Sara and my voice really melt together here and it is most likely the most vocal prominent track on the album. Listen to the massive gust of wind at the very end of the song, it waited for us to finish. Very haunting moment.

“Til It’s Gone”
This is the first lockdown song of the album. Reminding me of all the things that I used to just go and do without thinking anything of it and how that was starting to eat away at me. I played my neglected weissenborn Lap Steel guitar on this track which lifted it to another place. Strong americana and country vibes on this one and it really croons.

“Black Mountain Blues”
The second lockdown song but of a much more introspective nature with a touch of darkness. Black Mountain in the ACT was almost taunting me at my window as I worked from home which inspired the song. It’s a celebrated landmark in the capital and rightly so but what I was craving was solitude in the wilderness away from any form of tourist destination. I am very happy with the melody here and the guitar parts .My following has been bolstered by a new wave of “Dark Country” fans of late which was a total accident and nice surprise. They will really like this one.

Side B
To satisfy the rock music hunger that is always present in my mind I formed The Black Tide with members Pat Quinn Quirke (guitar) Jono Warren (Drums) & Joel Cabban (Bass). In a short period of time I couldn’t be happier with the lineup and the band is super tight, dynamic and has a great time doing it.  There’s energy, stank, darkness and badass attitudes.

As “Hot Blood” does on Side A, “Bottle” literally smashes you as it starts Side B of the album. The riff doubles as the song’s hook which was a new thing for me in terms of writing. Lyrically, the line ” I’ve never found God at the bottom of a bottle” describes my delicate relationship with alcohol. As much as I love a drink,  I know that I must be careful as at times we don’t mix well together depending on how I am at the time. Metaphorically stating that alcohol isn’t the answer for many of the reasons one can lean on it and knowing that through experience.  This will prick the ears of 90’s rock, stoner rock and riff appreciators. A huge moment.

Sandcastle keeps the momentum coming with more of a story telling vibe. Written about losing my childhood home on the Far South Coast of NSW and all the thoughts and feelings attached to that. It has a very nice pace and flows out of bottle super well. The 90’s rock feel is strong again with some big vocals and a ripping solo from Pat. I get big Pearl Jam vibes from it.

“Troubles Coming”
The band version. This reveals the options I have at my disposal when I write music. I actually don’t know whether I like the Side A or B version better. Hence why they are both on the album. There’s some very tasty slide guitar going on and Sara’s backing vocals are a standout.

“Eric (Love Live The King)”
Easily the most energetic song of the album which has proven to be a crowd favourite at shows. Eric is my best friend so it’s only fair to write a song about him and also make it a ripper. The guitars in this one are layered perfectly with the tones and parts locked in. The hook is an ear worm which was an accident as it’s supposed to mimic a howling dog. It’s super tight but there’s a certain looseness to it which I really love. One of the best solos I have ever written on this track.

I drove to QLD for that leg of my Full Circle tour as the pandemic was heating up only to be stopped at the border and sent home. I was pretty crushed as It was a 12 hour drive which is such an effort for nothing. I was watching the news about Covid-19 in the lead up and turned it off and said ” I don’t want to know”. This became the chorus and the song developed from there. It is the most theatrical song on the album with the intro setting the tone. The closest song on the album to a genuine blues song. The solo is epic and it’s got tudeeeee.

“Black Sunglasses”
I wrote this when I was on a bit of a downer. As the chorus suggests, I’d lost my way and the way the song builds into rock mayhem is almost how it feels when I lose my cool and then compose myself after that. I love the tension that is created in this song and it is a very proud writing moment. This is a band favourite to play live and all the boys’ parts and performances are amazing. I wasn’t sure if the song would work on the album as it is quite different but it turned out to be the perfect finisher.


Justin Stewart Cotta

Jack Biilmann & The Black Tide – Divided Mind – Tour Dates

Head to Jack’s official website for tickets and further details

June 16th – The Basement, Canberra, ACT
June 22nd – The Royal QBN, Queanbeyan, NSW
June 23rd – Cooma Little Theatre, Cooma, NSW
June 24th – Wolumla Hall, Wolumla, NSW
July 1st – Lulie Tavern, Melbourne, VIC
July 7th – Towradgi Beach Hotel, Towradgi, NSW
July 8th – The Chippo Hotel, Sydney, NSW
July 9th – The Stag & Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
July 12th – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
July 13th – Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, Gold Coast, QLD
July 15th – Tomcat, Brisbane, QLD
July 31st – Jindabyne Brewing, Jindabyne, NSW
Aug 4th – The Bended Elbow, Albury, NSW
Aug 5th – The Curious Rabbit, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Sept 21st – Tumut River Brewing Co, Tumut, NSW
Sept 29th – Wanderer Festival, Pambula Beach, NSW
Oct 7th – The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT


Divided Mind from Jack Biilmann will be released on all platforms on the 16th June, 2023. You can pre-order limited edition vinyl, CD’s and digital downloads HERE

You can follow Jack Biilmann on FacebookInstagramTwitter , Spotify and Youtube

Header image credit: Creswick Collective

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker