Love Transmitter CD cover (1)

Revisiting Love Transmitter by Michael Cullen

By Kevin Tshiamala

At times it is hard for us Americans to understand that someone can be popular in another sector of the world, but fail to reach mainstream media here, in the land of the free. I too have been at fault for this assumption and disregarded a talent based on the lack of their American shout outs. But the great thing about my job is constantly being reminded of the various independent talents, not only in the streets of our great country, but in various studios throughout the world. Today we revisit Michael Cullen and his album Love Transmitter.

Michael Cullen is an Australian guitar player, singer, and songwriter who has been making music for the last fifteen plus years. He started making music in the 90’s when he and his brother formed a band called The Hardheads. After the release of their 5 track EP, nothing more came out of The Hardheads for they switched their name in the mid nineties to Watershed. Achieving mild success through various indie fused mediums throughout the 90’s and after a short break from touring, Michael and Tim Powles regrouped to create the album Love Transmitter, which was released at the turn of the century.

The 10 track album is an indie pop record with heavy feedback guitar style, Michael’s deep, but inviting vocals with various organs, pianos, and Tim’s drum backing. As evidenced by the title, the album revolves around love, heartbreak, romantic nostalgia, poor decisions, and reflections of past relationships. The tracks are melancholic in nature resembling gothic new wave mixed with moody indie rock.  As stated by UnderTheGun, “Even with an updated production it still sounds just as sad.” Although sad, the album and its songs are easily relatable. We’ve all been there and when those times arrive, we need songs like these to push us through – or closer to suicide – either way Love Transmitter makes you feel. The album is not instrumentally spectacular or vocally astounding, but what makes it work at the level it does is that Michael does not try to go beyond what he knows.

With this said, there is no doubt that Love Transmitter is an acquired taste. It’s not going to sit well with many, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is a type of album that will separate the fans from the phonies. In 2011, an Australian music blog Tomatrax named it in the top twenty Australian albums of all time. We’re not so quick to jump on board with that statement. But apparently enough people were that Love Transmitter was re-mastered, re-released and seems to be once again picking up steam. Inherently, it is worth a listen, but don’t blame me if it’s not up your ally – you were given fair warning.

For more information please visit Michael Cullen’s official website:

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