Category: adam & brooke

Interview: Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley

Adam-and-Brooke-WB1.jpgWell established in their separate bands, The McClymonts and The Adam Eckersley Band,  Brooke McClymont and her husband, Adam Eckersley, took a recent detour to create an album together, with spectacular results. It is was my great pleasure to talk to them both recently about the decision making behind the project and the experience of making it.

I’m a longtime fan of The McClymonts and, Adam, I love your band – I had a little bit of nervousness before listening to your album, wondering if it would be as good as both of those bands, but of course it was.

A: We certainly felt that a little bit too. Not that it worried us, but we didn’t know stylistically what to make – we [just] knew it had to be reasonable [laughs].

Because you both have fans. Part of your work as musicians, and country musicians, is having access to your fans and them having access to you. That does more pressure on a situation.

B: Definitely.

A: We’ve been stoked with how it’s been received. You never know when you release anything how it’s going to be received – you just hope that people like it. We just wanted to make sure we were proud of what we’d done.

B: We trusted each other too, didn’t we.

A: Yes. And we’ve been blown away with the response so far.

It’s because you put out something fantastic and if you do the work, people tend to recognise it. Given that you both have your separate schedules and separate bands, when did you first discuss the idea of creating an album together?

B: We’ve always spoken about wanting to do an album together eventually, but honestly we thought we would not get to it until ten years or more down the track. But then the opportunity just presented itself because the girls [sisters Sam and Molly] were having babies, and that was leaving me really … I wasn’t going to be doing much. The girls and I have been gigging but it hasn’t been a lot – which has been fine, but I get itchy feet. I wanted to do something. Adam was doing his third album with The Adam Eckersley Band and kind of put that on hold, because we thought, Why don’t we do our thing now? We’ve got this time, we might as well jump on it and go with it. And I’m so glad we did, because I feel like everyone’s really responding to this album. People are getting the lyrics and they’re really listening. This album has been a real game-changer for me. It’s been fun, too, and fresh but the lyrics and what we’re doing is really touching people, and that’s a great thing as a musician and singer-songwriter to have that happen.

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Album review: Adam & Brooke by Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont

230601-L-LO.jpgBrooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley will be familiar to many Australian country music fans – and McClymont, in particular, will be familiar to regular readers of this blog, because I have always been, and will remain, pro-McClymonts. In fact, in case I doubted my affection for the band, the first track on Adam & Brooke proved that I have an almost Pavlovian response to Brooke McClymont’s voice: I couldn’t help smiling as soon as I heard it. But that’s not a reason for anyone else to like this album, of course, so it’s just as well that Adam & Brooke is ten songs’ worth of country music excellence.

This is not an album that sounds like The McClymonts with a man attached, or like The Adam Eckersley Band with a woman singing along. McClymont and Eckersley have crafted a sound of their own, and written songs that belong just to them, both in the sense that some of the songs are about them and also that they now have a distinctive identity together.

Adam & Brooke combines country, rock and pop elements – McClymont’s pop instincts are too strong to leave them out – and taut, descriptive, emotional storytelling. The opening track, ‘Train Wreck’, suggests that the eponymous artists are themselves a bit of a track wreck – except the rest of the album does not bear this out, because it could only be the work of people who have done the work, and done their homework, and made a decision to create something great. And they had to, obviously – there was no way they could release something mediocre, not just because they are too experienced and talented but because the stakes were quite high. There was, no doubt, risk in doing this album – for any couple embarking on a major creative enterprise together, and especially for two whose reputations in the country music industry are so good. So no small measure of courage was required, and perhaps that was the extra ingredient that makes this album such a standout.

After ‘Train Wreck’ there is a lovely mix of tempos and stories. There’s lots of fun, and some sadness – particularly on the heartbreaking ‘Nothing Left to Win’, and the achingly honest ‘Not How I Feel’ – and there’s clearly a lot of love and regard from the two artists for each other.

It would be hard for fans of either or both McClymont and Eckersley not to have expectations of this album. It is not so much a relief as a delight to have those expectations so gloriously met. This is an album that announces a major new country music act – so while they’re both likely to continue with their original bands, let’s hope they continue to make music together for a very long time.

Adam & Brooke is out now through Lost Highway/Universal Music Australia.