Press photos, posters
Song, lyrics, free mp3s
Dates and News
Penelope's CD's
Gourd Instruments
The Swalesian Bugle
Totally Gourdgeous

Penelope's cd's

These are Penelope's albums. Click on the highlighted ones to get the lyrics.

- Between Light And Dark (PSCDOOI)  1993
- Returning on Foot (CC59521)   1995
- Homemade Wine (BMM 212.2)   1997
- Live At Woodford (BMM 218.2)  1998
- Justifying Your Longings to the Doctor (BMM 222.2)   1998
- "Archive": Demos, out-takes and one-offs 1995-2000   2001
- Monkey Comfort   2003  
- "Archive Vol 2: Songs from the Borderline"   2005
- Skin: Deep - Polymorphous Love Songs   2007

Where can I buy Penelope's Music?

Mail Order

The best way to support independent music is to buy directly from the artist. You can do this by attending a gig or emailing penelope@penelopeswales.com and asking for an order form. Payment options include cheque, money order or credit card. Or click here for printable version

Telephone orders

Call 03 5968 1625 during Australian business hours and have your credit card handy

Record shops

Penelope is distributed by Black Market Music, and in Australia can be found in HMV, JB Hi-Fi ad good alternative CD shops. http://www.blackmarketmusic.com.au/

Buy CD's online

Chaos Music
 these sites also carry Totally Gourdgeous and some harder-to-get albums

 A few of Penelope's songs in MP3 format are  available at for free http://www.mp3.com.au/artist.asp?id=316


Penelope Swales / Homemade Wine

Penelope Swales / Justifying Your Longings To Doctor

Penelope Swales / Monkey Comfort

Penelope is also available on iTunes

 "Monkey Comfort" (BMM 269.2) 2003


"Some people seek comfort in religion. Some use money, some like power. Others prefer intoxication, adrenalin, oblivion, a whisky sour. But the analgesic of my preference would have to be my own insignificance - and I'll tell you how....." 

                                                            -  title track - Monkey Comfort

Praise for "Monkey Comfort"

"A stunning tour of moods and emotions not only for the Folkies. Swales has enough power to touch anyone."
The Sunday Herald-Sun, Melbourne

"An outstanding collection..... 'Monkey Comfort' is Penelope Swales at her very best ."
Rhythms Magazine, Australia

"A double taste of some of the best writing I have heard for some time...a fantastic blend of musical ability and writing dexterity."
Trad and Now Magazine, Australia

"A formidable achievement. It signals a mature woman and an artist with a humanist eye and one with formidable courage and skill."
Barfly Magazine, Cairns


“Monkey Comfort” was Penelope's 7th solo CD in 10 years, and the album was in the top 10 of the Australian Independent Blues and Roots charts for 4 months from Jan – April 2004. Two CD's and seventeen tracks honed over 3 continents and four years, it brings a whole new swag of thought-provoking ideas and  intriguing stories to bear. Monkey Comfort is a playful mix of anthropology and anthropomorphism that draws on the lush imagery of the natural world to describe the human condition. It examines both the idealistic and cynical side of us as human beings, and strives to remind us that we are, after all, animals and we are an inalienable part of the Natural World. Intimate tales of daily life are set back to back with world shattering events and an attempt to explain the very origins of human nature. 

"The Raven and the Phoenix"  tells the anguished story of a friend who's baby was burned and highlights the way hard times brought out the best in the surrounding community. "Farewell Margaret" opens gently and excruciatingly the topic of how we say goodbye to our dead and deal with the possessions they leave behind. "Natural World" invites us to look again at Nature - not as a resource to be plundered or even as a mythical icon to be worshipped, but with genuine understanding and an awareness that only by both accepting our own animality and learning to control it will we as a species have a lasting future here. The title track "Monkey Comfort" digs even deeper - it questions the very fabric of how we as people deal with the big issues of life, death and our place in the scheme of things. 

But love and sexuality are never far from the surface in Penelope's work "These songs are from my Older-woman-younger-man suite" she quips on stage. "Because I've graduated. I'm now old enough to be older to anyone who's young enough to thing that I'm old. The fun bit is that those people are now above the age of consent!" 

"King Monkey" is an exuberant romp of a song, all delight and surprise, while "20 Summers (Over you by Tuesday)" deals with the slightly messier side of being an Older Woman. "Physical World" explores the delights of being in love with a computer geek (sadly not the one maintaining this website!)

Social Commentary and Politics are eternal themes in Penelope's work. In Monkey Comfort she brings to the fore two beautiful and little known songs from Australia's rich songwriting tradition. "Lionhearts" by Dale Jones, a moving tribute to third world activists, and "Tell Me Now" by Melanie Shanahan (ex Arramaieda) which asks people to rethink the whitewashed version of Australian history in relation to the treatment of indigenous people. From Penelope's own pen  comes "Safe Home" - which both deals with the human tragedy and delivers a searing commentary on the "festival of political opportunism" that followed the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. It also contains a pointed dig at Australia's attitude to refugees. "Antarctica" (written with Dale Jones) highlights the last great wilderness and how the attempts to keep it a World Heritage area are threatened by mining interests.

"Archive Vol 2: Songs from the Borderline 1989-1992"

Released at the behest of fans, "Songs From the Borderline" features the best of Penelope's first 3 releases. "John's Sister: Live in the Kitchen" (1989) "Songs From the Borderline" (1991) and "Complacent Nation" (1992) These recordings were originally released on cassette and have been unavailable for over a decade. Newly remastered that have been made available on CD for the first time.