WRITER & MUSICIAN

BIOGRAPHY

image144

“Haunting lyrical imagery”

-    London Sunday Times

“Stories for bedtime, and the morning after”

-    NME

“A triumph, serving notice of a smoldering talent”

-     Uncut

“Deftly crafted, these songs leave you craving more”

-     Mojo


Toby Burke Hemingway was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1976 and emigrated to the United States in 1999, after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Writing.


Hemingway’s writing first found expression in lyrics, taking up the more narrative forms mined in American country and folk, tinged with his own Australian experience and sense of dislocation between countries. He released his debut record in 2001 via respected London label Loose Music, to critical acclaim.


From there Hemingway’s writing forged its own unique path, as he has sought inspiration in a range of immersive projects. Amongst seven albums and other creations, some highlights include: Recording a full band record in John Barrymore’s old Malibu hunting cabin; writing and documenting an entire set of solo songs in a tiny London flat, on a DIY tape machine (similar to that used for narrative songwriting master Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska); filming and scoring a friend’s journey to a Texas prison, to confront his grandparents’ incarcerated killer; being chosen by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne to create an immersive music and animation installation with animator Al McInnes; a two-part project with acclaimed Australian photographer Warwick Baker - an album and gallery show in which Baker took photographs based on Hemingway’s music, then a book of Hemingway’s stories based on Baker’s photographs, from a trip the two took through America’s southwestern desert; and holing-up in his brother’s Mexico City apartment to write and record an album of songs, infused with the sounds captured inside and out.


Hemingway kept moving and kept creating based on that momentum and the themes it conjured. At some point, Hemingway found himself comfortably settled in Los Angeles, and decided it was time to get off the road.


In 2011 he opened a trend-setting art and home store at the end of his street on Sunset Blvd, to sell friends’ artwork and other objects from around the world that inspired him. Four years later he opened a small menswear store (in a quieter part of Silver Lake) called Hemingway and Sons. It was there, watching the people come and go and in the tiny storeroom-cum-office, that Hemingway found the right mix of interaction and solitude to craft his debut novel.


Hemingway continues to live in Los Angeles with his wife and two children, writing, playing music and working on various other creative projects.