Doing the Global Admin Dance: At the signing (left to right) are Simon Moor, Managing Director of Kobalt Music Australia; and Icehouse's Iva Davies.
Kobalt Music Group has landed a coup with the signing of celebrated Icehouse frontman Iva Davies to a global administration deal.
The Australian affiliate of Kobalt has struck an arrangement to represent all new and catalog songs from the Icehouse canon, which include the hits "Hey Little Girl," "Great Southern Land," and "Electric Blue."
And significantly, the new agreement should usher-in a whole raft of sync placements for Icehouse tunes, something Davies has cleared only rarely in the past.
"I'm interested in working with people who are looking at new ways to exploit music in the future," Davies tells Billboard.biz. "And for an older act like me it's incredibly important we're geared that way, as opposed to sitting comfortably where I've been for 20 years."
Until now, Davies has been represented by EMI Music Publishing. The artist is currently trawling his catalog and digitally restored works from his famous repertoire.
"The whole gearing of my structure in the future will be to try and tap into online (opportunities) and not remain focused in the conventional CD model," explains Davies. "We're also looking for people who are very hungry for synchronization of my pieces of music, an area which has not really been done before."
The Kobalt deal coincides with the 30th anniversary of the classic debut "Icehouse", by what was then known as Flowers due to a legal conflict with an existing band abroad.
The album peaked at No. 4 on the Australian chart, but its influence reached much deeper thanks to a string of timeless singles, including "Can't Help Myself," "Walls" and "We Can Get Together". The album is now certified five-times platinum and talks are ongoing with record label partners to release a special "Icehouse" package for this May.
The "Icehouse" album was feted in the Hardie Grant-published tome, "The 100 Best Australian Albums." In it, the authors enthuse, "the one record that came out in Australia under the Flowers moniker remains the best outing of songwriter Iva Davies' eclectic career, bringing the synthesizer sounds of the new wave movement into the Australian charts and welding it to a youthful, open-minded sensibility. These were songs from a new world."
Icehouse enjoyed solid international succession throughout the '80s. In the U.K., "Hey Little Girl" was a top 20 hit in 1983 on the Chrysalis label. The band's biggest U.S. commercial peak came in 1988, when "Crazy" (EMI) cracked the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, and "Electric Blue reached No. 7.
All told, Icehouse has enjoyed 20 top-40 singles Down Under, and eight top 10 albums, generating 28-times platinum in Australasia. Six Icehouse songs have cracked The Billboard Hot 100 and five tracks have appeared in the U.K. top 75 chart. The band's legendary status was confirmed in 2006 when it was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
With the Davies deal, Kobalt Music Publish Australia has bagged its second high-profile pact following the signature last November of hotly tipped dance-crossover trio Art vs Science.