Jodi Phillis - We Need to Be Free
  • RELEASE DATE /1 July 2022
  • LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
  • FORMAT /limited edition clear vinyl, black vinyl, CD and digitally
Jodi Phillis - We Need to Be Free - clear vinyl
Jodi Phillis - We Need to Be Free - black vinyl
Jodi Phillis - We Need to Be Free - CD
Jodi Phillis


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Jodi Phillis – co-singer, songwriter and guitarist of Sydney’s ’90s indie-pop darlings The Clouds returns with her sixth solo album ‘We Need to Be Free’, to be released on Cheersquad Records & Tapes on July 1st. The album will be available as a limited edition, clear vinyl, on CD, on black vinyl, and digitally. All vinyl comes with a download card, and the tracks will also be added to your Bandcamp collection.

Expressing themes of transformation through pain and loss, universal and cosmic themes of love and transcendence and deeply human stories tracking her own internal journey, with ‘We Need to Be Free’ Jodi has created arguably her strongest work yet.

As the creator of classic Clouds songs like ‘Hieronymus’, ‘Soul Eater’ and ‘Bower of Bliss’, ‘The Dearhunters’, ‘Ivy’ and stand-out songs from her solo albums such as ‘Becoming’ and ‘Portobello Rd’, it has long been apparent that Jodi Phillis has a fine ear for beguiling melodies and harmonies and is a writer of deeply poignant lyrics.

Today, Jodi Phillis follows her genre-defying muse wherever she leads, and while it has been a long journey travelled since the indie days of the ’90s, her current music – with hints of chamber folk, psychedelia and melancholy pop – has a similar melodic sense and familiar sparkle, and as always, her mellifluous vocals shine front and centre.

Jodi has the following to say about the album ‘We Need to Be Free’:

“The songs from ‘We Need to Be Free’ evolved from a long writing period which started straight after releasing ‘Becoming’ in 2018. That album was all about grief and transformation and the different emotions and stages I went through after both my parents died from cancer.”

We Need to Be Free deals with the aftermath of stepping into the new person that I have become due to that loss. It is too huge a thing to explain in a few sentences, but that experience really cracked me open like a fucking coconut.”

“You never truly get over these things, but you can learn to live differently. You can’t help but see the world in a new way. I realise that life is short and the only way to live it is to be true to yourself….to get yourself free…one cannot betray one’s soul.”

“I had to make some big changes to the shape of my life. It’s never easy, but it is necessary. ‘We Need to Be Free’ is the title of one of the darkest, saddest songs on the album. There is a song called “Summer of Fires”, directly aimed at Scott Morrison and his pathetic and devastating behaviour during the bushfires. There are also some uplifting songs about diving into the deepest part of ourselves to find some kind of inner peace amidst the chaos of life.”

“This album was produced by Damien Lane, a brilliant composer. He’s been playing guitar with me for a few years now. The album has a psychedelic, cinematic sound, which I love. It’s a departure from the chamber-folk style of the last few albums.”

“Two of the songs on the album were co-written with my dear friend Martha Sear, a beautiful poet. She was The Clouds’ fan mail person back in the day!


In 2013, Jodi graduated from Australia’s premier screen arts school, The Australian Film Television and Radio School with a screen music degree, and has gone on to compose music for film, TV and the stage. Her tune ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Fine’ won Best Original Song at the London Movie Awards 2021. She has been the recipient of numerous arts grants: indeed, Create NSW has in part funded her forthcoming album.

In 2020, with gigs cancelled during the first lockdown, Jodi turned her creative energies to painting. Her first exhibition of watercolours sold out in an hour. She is onto her next body of work, and has entered a portrait of music photographer Tony Mott, who has been photographing Jodi since Clouds days and took her latest press shots, into the Archibald Prize.

In addition to the new album and painting, Jodi continues to work on The Vali Project, a large-scale collaboration with poet Gianni Menichetti to write and record an album of songs dedicated to internationally revered Sydney-born artist and bohemian Vali Myers.

Jodi continues to write music for the screen and stage – her latest composing job is Sound Track to Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse, a teen music series for ABC Me, and she has collaborated with former Go-Betweens violinist and award-winning composer, Amanda Brown to write orchestral music for Encounter (which has played at the Sydney Festival and is soon to play at the Opera House) and Seven Stories (which has played at Vivid and elsewhere).

Jodi recently started a Patreon page through which she shares live performances, song demos, behind the scenes content, artwork and more with her fans.


“Jodi Phillis is one of Australia’s vital singer songwriters.” Brian Parker, Your Music Radar 2018

“Phillis is an underrated national treasure.”Kelsey Munro, Rolling Stone 2001

Jodi Phillis, with The Clouds, released a succession of Top 40 albums in the ’90s, achieving Gold sales first time out with their ARIA-nominated debut Penny Century. The Clouds were Triple J and Rage favourites and Big Day Out regulars (they played the first two BDO’s in 1992 and 1993, and then 1995 and 1997), and they signed worldwide with Elektra and toured the US around the release of their third album in 1995. Breaking up in 1997, the group reformed in 2011 and have since played sporadically, including as part of a Day On The Green tour in 2017 with Blondie and Cyndi Lauper.

Jodi Phillis has released five solo albums. The first Lounge o’ Sound was released in 1996 while The Clouds were still together; the second, 2001’s In Dreams I Live, was nominated for two awards at the ARIA Music Awards. Album #6 comes in the year in which The Clouds are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Penny Century. A national Clouds tour has been announced for December 2022, and a second Factory Theatre show has already been added for Sydney, with the first having sold out.

This album was funded in part by Create NSW.