Melbourne singer-songwriter Gareth Leach has joined with South Australian artist Michaela Jenke for the new single ‘My Crime’, which debuted at #3 on the iTunes Country chart. It’s a song about promise and futility, the self and the shadow self.
‘Recognising and knowing your demons when they present themselves is one thing,’ says Leach, ‘but learning to fight them, or at the least challenge yourself to overcome them, is another thing … and it can be scary as hell facing those thoughts, especially in today’s current social climate fraught with insecurity and uncertainty due to the threat of pandemics.’
Leach wrote the song then realised that it would work best as a duet, to bring about a tonal balance – light offsetting dark. After seeing Jenke perform earlier this year, he knew she was the right choice. Jenke’s ‘amazing performance and presence turns the song into a conversation,’ says Leach, ‘rather than a completely introspective dialogue from the perspective of the character, bringing the song to life … hence the constant to-ing and fro-ing between the two of us throughout the song.’
This year Leach has already released the singles ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Old Crow Feather’, from a forthcoming album (his second). Jenke is a graduate of the CMAA Senior Academy of Country Music and winner of the 2018 Tamworth CMF Coca-Cola Battle of The New Stars competition. Her EP, Diamonds Outta Dirt, was released in 2017.
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Singer-songwriter Gareth Leach released his debut album Death & Taxes in 2018, and for those who haven’t yet heard it, new single ‘Better or Worse’ is a great introduction to Leach’s unstinting lyrics and heartfelt vocals, and his country/alt-rock sound. The song was a TSA Awards Semi-finalist ‘Best Alt-Country Song’ this year and, as Leach says, it’s about ‘dealing with living with your own high expectations of “what this life is supposed to be”.’
The song has what Leach calls an ‘outlaw guitar riff’, and that riff not only sets up the mood of the song but calls in the listener. That riff led Leach to go in search of a lyric that could suit it, and in his notebook he found something he’d written a month or so earlier: Tell me is it getting better or is it getting worse?
If the vocals sound like they’re coming from an authentic place, it’s because, as each Leach says, they come from ‘a very real and personal conversation that I was, and continue having with myself. For me in my own songwriting, music can either act as therapy or bring issues to light that I am not consciously aware of until writing it down.’
Watch the video for ‘Better or Worse’ below:
Death & Taxes is out now.
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Echuca singer-songwriter Gareth Leach released his debut EP in 2016 and is set to release his first album, Death & Taxes, in September. From the album comes the single ‘Turn Back Jimmy Creek’, which was written after Leach’s journey to the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival – and anyone who has driven the New England Highway to that festival will relate to Leach’s lyrics about long drives.
Prior to embarking on a solo career, Leach was already an an established songwriter and musician, as well as being a producer and sound engineer for his bands Strathmore and Bateman. He has also written music for film and has collaborated with musicians from the country, folk, punk and pop industries.
‘Turn Back Jimmy Creek’ has a rollicking country-rock sound to accompany Leach’s gutsy, intriguing vocals, and also features Gretta Ziller on vocals.
Watch the video for ‘Turn Back Jimmy Creek’ below:
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