Awards, Festivals & Covers: A Timeline Of How Thelma Plum's 'Better In Blak' Took Over

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  • Awards, Festivals & Covers: A Timeline Of How Thelma Plum's 'Better In Blak' Took Over
    POSTED Nov 06 2020
    Thelma Plum
    Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage

    Thelma Plum’s Better In Blak has proved itself to be one of the most important Australian records of recent times. Released just over a year ago, it’s picked up countless award nominations, taken her to huge stages around the country and expanded along the way.

    Today, Plum released the ‘Anniversary Edition’ of the record on digital platforms, celebrating the album with the addition of new tracks. To celebrate, we thought we’d look at everything that Plum has done since the album dropped from spinetingling covers to triumphant festival sets. 

    July 2019 - Better In Blak Released

    In July of last year, Thelma Plum unleashed her debut album ‘Better In Blak’. It had been a long wait for fans with the first single Clumsy Love arriving almost a year prior but it was well worth the wait. Produced by Alexander Burnett and featuring appearances by Dave Le’aupepe and Paul McCartney, it’s an unapologetic, autobiographical, and heartwarming debut. 

    July 2019 - triple j’s Like A Version

    The day the album dropped, Plum took to the triple j studios for a triumphant Like A Version. She performed a stirring rendition of the title track as well as a stripped version of Khalid’s Young, Dumb & Broke. Both performances have been watched over 100,000 times since they dropped. 

    July 2019 - Dancing In The Dark For MTV Stripped

    Over her career, Plum has delivered some stunning covers and she added to that on MTV Stripped. She gave an acoustic rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark. It’s a song that has been taken on many a time but there’s something particularly vulnerable about Plum’s version. 

    July 2019 - Splendour In The Grass

    Splendour In The Grass 2019 may be Plum’s biggest gig to date. She absolutely packed out the tent as she celebrated her debut album with thousands of fans. Plum herself called it, “the best gig of her entire life.” It was so good that she was invited to play on the 2020 bill which was eventually delayed due to COVID-19. You can relive her 2019 set here. 

    August 2019 - The Set On ABC

    ABC’s The Set brought together Australian artists and saw them deliver a cover together during the show. On Plum’s episode, she was grouped with Amy Shark and The Teskey Brothers, choosing to take on Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. Plum’s vocals are tailor-made for a soulful song like this. 

    October 2019 - ARIA Nominations

    Plum was one of the big triumphs of the 2019 ARIA Nominations announcement. She picked up six nominations including Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year. She also won her first ever ARIA Award for best Cover Art by artist Emile Pfitzner 

    November 2019 - J Awards

    Better In Blak was nominated for a J Award alongside the likes of Matt Corby, Stella Donnelly, Sampa The Great and more. By year’s end, triple j listeners voted Better In Blak as their third favourite record of the year behind G Flip and Billie Eilish. 

    November 2019 - ARIA Awards Performance

    Plum took Better In Blak to the ARIA stage, giving a stripped performance of the album title track. Backed by just piano and backing vocals, it’s a spell-binding performance.

    December 2019 - Falls Festival

    Plum continued her run as a summer festival favourite with some stunning sets at Falls Festival. The Lorne edition of the festival was cancelled due to devastating bushfires and heat but it continued in Byron Bay and Marion Bay. 

    January 2020 - triple j’s Hottest 100

    Triple j listeners continued to turn out for Plum, giving her a very strong showing in the 2019 Hottest 100 countdown. Three tracks from Better In Blak made it into the countdown with the title track at #9, Homecoming Queen at #65 and Not Angry Anymore at #78. 

    February 2020 - Australian Music Prize Nominations

    The accolades keep rolling in for Better In Blak with the album nominated for the prestigious Australian Music Prize.

    February 2020 - ‘Homecoming Queen’ Tour Announced

    In February, Plum announced a big victory lap tour in support of Better In Blak. At the time, it was one of the highlights of the calendar year but COVID-19 put the plans into disarray. Plum has now rescheduled the tour to 2021. 

    March 2020 - Queensland Music Awards

    The Queensland Music Awards celebrated a great year handing out awards to the likes of The Jungle Giants, Amy Shark and Miiesha. It was Plum who took out the big one though, winning Album Of The Year for Better In Blak. 

    April 2020 - APRA/AMCOS Nominations 

    Plum picked up two nominations at the APRA/AMCOS awards for ‘Song Of The Year’ and ‘Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year’. The awards exclusively celebrate songwriters and publishers. 

    July 2020 - Alice Ivy’s Ticket To Heaven

    Plum appeared on Alice Ivy’s guest-heavy record Don’t Sleep. She appeared on the heart-rendering cut Ticket To Heaven which almost brought Ivy to tears while recording. “We really clicked, it felt like I’d known her so long,” she told NME. “It was a very vulnerable time, she’d lost a friend, but we wrote this incredibly sad and beautiful song within five hours.”

    May 2020 - These Days Powderfinger Cover

    Plum took on fellow Queenslander’s Powderfinger’s ‘These Days’ in May, giving a haunting rendition of the song. “I already know a couple of the Powderfinger guys so of course, I said yes. I even recorded parts of it in Ian’s (Haug, Powderfinger guitarist) studio, which made it feel even more natural,” Plum said of the experience. 

    August 2020 - Briggs Go To War

    Plum doesn’t do many features but she teamed up with Briggs for a powerful cut Go To War. Plum features on the woozy, hypnotic hook of the song.

    November 2020 - Anniversary Edition Of Better In Blak

    Announced exactly a year after the release of the album, Plum reissued Better In Blak on special coloured vinyl representing the First Nations Flag - which you can now pre-order. The deluxe edition has now dropped digitally though, featuring a new song Body Do The Talking, alongside remixes of album tracks by Alice Ivy, Antony & Cleopatra and more. 

    154956
Submitted by Site Factory admin on Fri, 06/11/2020 - 05:22
Thelma Plum
Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage

Thelma Plum’s Better In Blak has proved itself to be one of the most important Australian records of recent times. Released just over a year ago, it’s picked up countless award nominations, taken her to huge stages around the country and expanded along the way.

Today, Plum released the ‘Anniversary Edition’ of the record on digital platforms, celebrating the album with the addition of new tracks. To celebrate, we thought we’d look at everything that Plum has done since the album dropped from spinetingling covers to triumphant festival sets. 

July 2019 - Better In Blak Released

In July of last year, Thelma Plum unleashed her debut album ‘Better In Blak’. It had been a long wait for fans with the first single Clumsy Love arriving almost a year prior but it was well worth the wait. Produced by Alexander Burnett and featuring appearances by Dave Le’aupepe and Paul McCartney, it’s an unapologetic, autobiographical, and heartwarming debut. 

July 2019 - triple j’s Like A Version

The day the album dropped, Plum took to the triple j studios for a triumphant Like A Version. She performed a stirring rendition of the title track as well as a stripped version of Khalid’s Young, Dumb & Broke. Both performances have been watched over 100,000 times since they dropped. 

July 2019 - Dancing In The Dark For MTV Stripped

Over her career, Plum has delivered some stunning covers and she added to that on MTV Stripped. She gave an acoustic rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark. It’s a song that has been taken on many a time but there’s something particularly vulnerable about Plum’s version. 

July 2019 - Splendour In The Grass

Splendour In The Grass 2019 may be Plum’s biggest gig to date. She absolutely packed out the tent as she celebrated her debut album with thousands of fans. Plum herself called it, “the best gig of her entire life.” It was so good that she was invited to play on the 2020 bill which was eventually delayed due to COVID-19. You can relive her 2019 set here. 

August 2019 - The Set On ABC

ABC’s The Set brought together Australian artists and saw them deliver a cover together during the show. On Plum’s episode, she was grouped with Amy Shark and The Teskey Brothers, choosing to take on Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. Plum’s vocals are tailor-made for a soulful song like this. 

October 2019 - ARIA Nominations

Plum was one of the big triumphs of the 2019 ARIA Nominations announcement. She picked up six nominations including Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year. She also won her first ever ARIA Award for best Cover Art by artist Emile Pfitzner 

November 2019 - J Awards

Better In Blak was nominated for a J Award alongside the likes of Matt Corby, Stella Donnelly, Sampa The Great and more. By year’s end, triple j listeners voted Better In Blak as their third favourite record of the year behind G Flip and Billie Eilish. 

November 2019 - ARIA Awards Performance

Plum took Better In Blak to the ARIA stage, giving a stripped performance of the album title track. Backed by just piano and backing vocals, it’s a spell-binding performance.

December 2019 - Falls Festival

Plum continued her run as a summer festival favourite with some stunning sets at Falls Festival. The Lorne edition of the festival was cancelled due to devastating bushfires and heat but it continued in Byron Bay and Marion Bay. 

January 2020 - triple j’s Hottest 100

Triple j listeners continued to turn out for Plum, giving her a very strong showing in the 2019 Hottest 100 countdown. Three tracks from Better In Blak made it into the countdown with the title track at #9, Homecoming Queen at #65 and Not Angry Anymore at #78. 

February 2020 - Australian Music Prize Nominations

The accolades keep rolling in for Better In Blak with the album nominated for the prestigious Australian Music Prize.

February 2020 - ‘Homecoming Queen’ Tour Announced

In February, Plum announced a big victory lap tour in support of Better In Blak. At the time, it was one of the highlights of the calendar year but COVID-19 put the plans into disarray. Plum has now rescheduled the tour to 2021. 

March 2020 - Queensland Music Awards

The Queensland Music Awards celebrated a great year handing out awards to the likes of The Jungle Giants, Amy Shark and Miiesha. It was Plum who took out the big one though, winning Album Of The Year for Better In Blak. 

April 2020 - APRA/AMCOS Nominations 

Plum picked up two nominations at the APRA/AMCOS awards for ‘Song Of The Year’ and ‘Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year’. The awards exclusively celebrate songwriters and publishers. 

July 2020 - Alice Ivy’s Ticket To Heaven

Plum appeared on Alice Ivy’s guest-heavy record Don’t Sleep. She appeared on the heart-rendering cut Ticket To Heaven which almost brought Ivy to tears while recording. “We really clicked, it felt like I’d known her so long,” she told NME. “It was a very vulnerable time, she’d lost a friend, but we wrote this incredibly sad and beautiful song within five hours.”

May 2020 - These Days Powderfinger Cover

Plum took on fellow Queenslander’s Powderfinger’s ‘These Days’ in May, giving a haunting rendition of the song. “I already know a couple of the Powderfinger guys so of course, I said yes. I even recorded parts of it in Ian’s (Haug, Powderfinger guitarist) studio, which made it feel even more natural,” Plum said of the experience. 

August 2020 - Briggs Go To War

Plum doesn’t do many features but she teamed up with Briggs for a powerful cut Go To War. Plum features on the woozy, hypnotic hook of the song.

November 2020 - Anniversary Edition Of Better In Blak

Announced exactly a year after the release of the album, Plum reissued Better In Blak on special coloured vinyl representing the First Nations Flag - which you can now pre-order. The deluxe edition has now dropped digitally though, featuring a new song Body Do The Talking, alongside remixes of album tracks by Alice Ivy, Antony & Cleopatra and more. 

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