Close this search box.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our weekly
e-newsletter for news and updates

Advertise with us


Nick Barker is one of Australia’s most cherished artists, renowned for his exceptional songwriting skills. His notable collaborations include crafting songs alongside esteemed musicians such as Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Mick Thomas, Tim Rogers, and Felicity Urquhart. ‘Exoskeleton’, his latest album, marks a significant milestone, arriving 35 years after his debut single with the Reptiles and 14 years since his last solo release and two albums with The Heartache State (2015’s self-titled set and 2017’s Last of the Buffalo).

‘Exoskeleton’ presents a compelling array of songs delving into the complex themes of human nature. It explores the resilience of individuals with tough exteriors but tender hearts, questioning subjects like love and loss, the weight of mortality, the bonds of family, and the enduring scars that time can’t erase.

Pre Save ‘Exoskeleton’ HERE

Barker provides what could be a one-line review of the record in “You Kill Me”:
Neurotic, psychotic, exotic, you got it!
Barker collaborated closely with his friend and producer Shane O’Mara on the album. Shane describes Nick as a unique musician with a distinctive style, emphasizing the remarkable qualities of the guitar and bass, featuring wandering, resilient bass lines and angular, sinewy guitar work. Nick’s straight-to-the-point vocals command attention and demand listeners’ full engagement.

The creative process was incredibly rewarding for Shane, as he found the songs to be deeply heartfelt, captivating, and constantly surprising in their musical composition. Barker humorously contrasts their roles, likening himself to a beggar on a 17th-century London street and Shane to a well-dressed court troubadour, but praises Shane as an excellent producer who allowed him the freedom to express his musical vision fully.

Watch the Official film clip for “Chinese Burn” The first single from ‘Exoskeleton

Lyrically, ‘Exoskeleton’ is a raw and introspective record for Nick Barker. He delves into darker themes, forsaking his usual humour for a more serious tone. In tracks like “Hand In The Lake,” he sings about resisting an easy path, asserting, “I don’t do easy.” The album revolves around the lyrics, aiming for emotional resonance in its music. Notably, it contains Barker’s most personal song yet, “Unravelling World,” addressing the loss of his mother during his teenage years. The song takes the form of a heartfelt letter, expressing his enduring feelings of vulnerability.

For Barker, songwriting is a confessional outlet, a means to confront personal truths. This album reflects that introspection, often feeling like a conversation with oneself in the mirror, a creative midlife crisis where the older self addresses the younger self with shouts of wisdom. Barker’s journey has been marked by highs and lows, including his departure from home after his mother’s death, leading him to a squat in St Kilda. It was a challenging time, but one that ultimately shaped him profoundly.

‘Exoskeleton’ arrives 35 years after Barker’s debut single with the Reptiles, marking a long and eventful musical expedition filled with scars and countless nights on the road. It’s a testament to his resilience in an unforgiving industry, resulting in one of the most outstanding albums of his career.

To mark the release of his 10th album, ‘Exoskeleton’, Nick Barker and his band will play one show at Melbourne’s Shotkickers, Thornbury on Friday October 6th. Drawing on his 30 year solo career, this will be one not to miss for rusted-on Barker fans or, for that matter, any music fan. With special guests, Sean McMahon and the Owls, it’s a one-night-only affair, so mark your calendars!

Share this