CT radio DJ collaborates with Australian musician on debut single


Radio DJ Hamden Binnie Klein recently added songwriting to her resume, co-writing and releasing a song with Australian musician Tartie.

The song “Orchard”, released in the fall of 2021, is the first single from Klein’s upcoming independent project titled “In These Trees”. It was produced by Grammy-winning artist David Baron, who worked with The Lumineers and Lenny Kravitz. The song is available on Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music, with an animated music video for “Orchard” streaming on YouTube.

“It’s an incredible thrill,” Klein said of his debut single which is played in England, Belgium, Australia and the United States. “The DJs have been very positive and generous about ‘Orchard’.

Klein hosts the radio show “A Miniature World” on WPKN in Bridgeport. She wears many hats as a psychotherapist, journalist, poet, podcast producer and author.

“I believe we all carry miniature worlds with us,” Klein said, describing his show. “I am a curator of music that I love, presenting authors that I love. I talk about cinema, culture and I have done a ton of interviews, plus I present spoken word. The music I play on the air is alternative indie-pop. It’s eclectic but not scattered.

Tartie is an Australian independent musician.

Courtesy of Tartie

It was Klein’s role as a DJ that led to the musical collaboration.

“I received an email from Tartie, as an artist seeking to have me play his music on my radio show,” she said. “I’m a big fan of independent musicians, so I went to see her videos and she had a few on YouTube. I fell in love with one of them called ‘Winter’s Girl’ and responded by saying that I was going to play the song on my show. And she was very excited. At that time, I had just started this new creative endeavor, which was to write songs. I told Tartie about it, and it was like putting my foot in the water, hoping she could say, “Hey, do you want to collaborate? “

Tartie did, although at the time Klein only wrote lyrics, not music.

“I mentioned that to her, and she said she could play the piano and sing the vocals,” Klein said. “So she gave it a go and sent me a demo, just her and her keyboard. And I was absolutely blown away. She nailed it.”

Binnie Klein is a radio DJ at WPKN.

Binnie Klein is a radio DJ at WPKN.

Courtesy of Binnie Klein

The Melbourne-based artist explained why she was drawn to Klein’s composition.

“The lyrics to ‘Orchard’ intrigued me when I first read them,” Tartie said in a recent email conversation. “They detail the love and heartbreak of teens in an orchard as well as environmental and political issues, and the subject immediately resonated with me. They were written so beautifully with descriptions and pictures that drew me into the story from the start.

Klein differentiates between writing poems and writing lyrics. “In writing songs, I’m much more aware of trying to be approachable,” Klein said. “I’m mainly interested in rhyme for musical conventions and vocals. In the type of poetry I wrote, that was not a factor. But I find both forms difficult.

In 2018, Klein produced a six-episode audio memoir, “Ten Days in Newark,” which she credits with launching her songwriter career. Even though she didn’t write melodies for her songs before, she does now.

Binnie Klein and Tartie collaborated together on the song "Orchard."

Binnie Klein and Tartie collaborated together on the song “Orchard”.

Courtesy of Binnie Klein

“Even though I don’t have a traditional musical background, I’m actually composing music now as well as lyrics for the project,” she said. “My collaborators teach me the structure of the songs. I may have had an intuitive knowledge based on decades as a radio DJ. I took piano lessons as a kid and later with jazz legend Lee Konitz in New York City. And I often improvise on the keyboard and play songs by Joni Mitchell, who is one of my favorite songwriters. Also, I can read music which helps.


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