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Crowded House’s Big Year: New Album, Icon Award & Rolling Stone AU/NZ Cover Stars

Crowded House released their eighth album and were unveiled as Rolling Stone AU/NZ’s next cover stars all on the same day

Crowded House Rolling Stone AU/NZ cover

Giulia Giannini McGauran

2024 might only be halfway done, but it’s already shaping up to be one of the best years of Crowded House’s entire career.

In February, the evergreen rock band announced their eighth studio album, Gravity Stairs, which took its name from a heavy stone staircase near where Neil Finn vacations.

“It’s a metaphor for getting a little older and becoming aware of your own mortality, your own physicality,” Finn explained. “Things are getting a little harder, and there’s more determination needed to get to the top, but there’s still the same compulsion to climb them.”

After a flurry of singles, including “Oh Hi”, the band’s first original music in two years, Crowded House’s new album finally arrived into the world today (listen below), at the same time they were announced as the next Rolling Stone AU/NZ cover stars.

Neil Finn and co. will grace the cover of our June-August issue, which hits newsstands in Australia and New Zealand from Monday, June 3rd.

The cover story lifts the lid on the band’s various iterations, and why, all these years later, they’re still going strong. And while Crowded House might look a little different these days, Neil himself believes its current iteration is as good as it gets.

“Everyone in Crowded House shares the history, and that’s the great thing about this lineup. It’s different to what it was, but it’s got as much soul to my mind as any lineup we’ve had. And potentially it might be our greatest lineup, by whatever measure you use. It feels like we’ve got massive trust now.”

The multi-generational story includes unparalleled insights from Neil Finn’s son, Liam, who joined the band in 2020.

“Dad is always going to be working on songs, pushing himself to the edge of madness,” he said of his dad and bandmate. “He’s the hardest working person I know in the world. And for better or for worse, it just won’t stop.”

Band co-founder and bassist Nick Seymour was also heavily involved in the feature story coming to life – even lending his visual artist chops to the cover design. Seymour himself painted the band’s iconic name in sprawling red letters, which speaks to the band’s connection and craft.

Crowded House photographed on March, 9th 2024 at G.G.McG Studios Melbourne by Giulia Giannini McGauran (@g.g.mcg) Rolling Stone Creative Direction Katie Taylor (@ katie.taylor____) Stylist: Jana Bartolo (@janabartolo) HMU: Nadine Muller (@nadinemullermakeup)

Sandwiched between their album announcement and cover unveiling, Crowded House were recognised with the Rolling Stone Icon Award at the 2024 Shure Rolling Stone AU/NZ Awards in March.

In front of musicians, industry stalwarts and music fans, Finn told the crowd at the event: “Thank you Rolling Stone for making us into an icon. I’m not sure what that truly means, but I think it means you need to go to Mecca and buy some makeup, so I’ve done that. I’d like to thank all the band members of Crowded House, so I’m representing for them, they send their love. For everybody, thank you so much for honouring us in this fashion.”

Not bad for a band who formed all the way back in 1985.

And Crowded House’s big year is far from finished: they’ll tour across Australia and New Zealand this November and December to celebrate Gravity Stairs.

Crowded House’s cover story is part of a jam-packed June issue of our magazine.

There are insights into the highs and lows experienced by Australian female soul performers, a sit down with Girl in Red after she toured with Taylor Swift, an exploration of why the business of Amy Winehouse is booming over a decade after her death, and the story of how First Nations supergroup 3% created one of the best albums of the year.