Category: lachlan bryan

Lachlan Bryan on the road and ‘The Road’

The Road single artworkSinger-songwriter Lachlan Bryan seems to be almost always on tour with his band, The Wildes, so it’s appropriate that their latest single – from their forthcoming album – is ‘The Road’.  Bryan is an outstanding lyricist, so there is more to the song than it being simply about the touring life, but recently I asked him about that, about his relationship with longtime collaborator Damian Cafarella and his songwriting process.

The single is a great song, but I have to confess that I’m not shocked because you can’t write a bad song, I think.

I can. I can send them all to you if you want, I’ve got some shockers. I’m really fond of this one. I guess I’m attached to it because it feels very honest and truthful, and normally I write pretty honest and truthful, but as you know, I often write characters or whatever, whereas this is pretty autobiographical and I just thought it sounded nice too, so that’s part of it.

It is autobiographical and I was listening to it quite closely  ̶  you do make it easy to listen closely to your songs because you enunciate clearly, which I always think is a great compliment to the listener. But also it’s always worth listening to your songs because the lyrics are so rich, and you do sing about a restless spirit. But what struck me listening to that was that you write about being on the road, being away from people yet you perhaps more than most in the country music community have a lot of sustained connections with other artists, I’ve noticed. So do you think that makes you a bit of a paradox?

Maybe. It can be pretty lonely in a crowd sometimes, I guess. I do have a lot of friends in the community and outside of country music as well, just in the music community in general. And I think I’m finding more and more that I need that and I rely on that a lot more than I probably used to. Particularly lately. As you know, it’s been a pretty sad time in the country music world over the past couple of weeks [Lachlan is referring to the death of Glen Hannah]. We’ve probably all realised how connected we all are to each other. But in terms of what I’m writing about, the thing that I’ve learned is that … look, it seems a little bit crass at the moment to talk about depression and anxiety and all that kind of stuff, because I don’t have it badly. But I do find that I’m only really kind of contented and happy if I’m playing. And I hate to think what would ever happen if I stopped enjoying getting in front of an audience and playing, because I really live for it. I spend a lot of time in the studio and I produce records, and I love all that, but if a period of time goes past where I don’t actually go somewhere and play, or go somewhere different and meet different people, I really think I start to go a bit insane. And I know that it’s probably not a very sensible thing. I know that I should probably learn to be happy with day-to-day life, but I’m not. I really need it. I’m just someone who really needs to keep moving. And I think it’s probably very frustrating for people around me. I’ve definitely ended up hurting people that I would rather not have hurt. Getting back to the song, I think that’s kind of the point I’m making. But maybe I fought it more in the past and now I’m just accepting it.

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Album review: Take Me to Town

TMTTCov-700x622.jpgTake Me to Town may count as one album but it’s actually three CDs full of Australian alternative country music artists, some of whom will be familiar to readers of this blog – such as Tracy McNeil, The Weeping Willows, Lachlan Bryan, William Crighton and Jen Mize – and some who may be unknown simply because they are new.

Take Me to Town is the creation of Dave Favours from Sydney label Stanley Records, in concert with Chris Hamilton of Americana site Post to Wire, and Areatha Bryant of Mother Hen Touring. The trio decided on a list of artists and also secured some tracks that are exclusive to this release, from Ben Leece (who is about to release his debut album) and the always-compelling Katie Brianna, Sam Newton, Den Hanrahan, Peta Caswell and the increasingly prominent Michael Carpenter. Indeed, almost half the songs are exclusive to the compilation, so if you’re a country music fan who is wondering if it’s worth purchasing, that alone should convince you.

I’m fond of saying that country music is a broad umbrella and this compilation is proof that alternative country, too, deserves that description. The 47 tracks demonstrate that alt-country is flourishing around the land and pushing that genre, and Australian country music in general, into bold territory. There are elements of traditional country forms in these songs, reworked in a contemporary way or with a vocal flourish that creates something interesting. In some ways the compilation is an education about how country music is being interpreted and fashioned by new or new-is artists, and also how the work of more established artists like Lachlan Bryan and The Weeping Willows compares with songs from emerging artists. In this way the compilation also serves an almost anthropological purpose: the artists on this album are all pretty much from the same generation, yet how they approach their work is 47 ways of different.

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Single release: ‘Heart You Saved’ by Aleyce Simmonds & Lachlan Bryan

unnamed (6)Golden Guitar winners Aleyce Simmonds and Lachlan Bryan do just fine – more than fine, in fact – as artists in their own right, Simmonds as a solo artist and Bryan with his band, The Wildes. Simmonds’s most recent album is More than Meets the Eye and Bryan and the Wildes put out Some Girls (Quite) Like Country Music earlier this year.

This new single, ‘Heart You Saved’, was originally from neither album but appears on the new bonus edition of More than Meets the Eye. It’s an achingly bittersweet song with both singers’ voices bearing tinges of longing and regret. It is truly a joint production, with Simmonds’s talent for open-hearted songwriting and Bryan’s for unexpectedly lovely melodies combining to create a song that is different from their previous releases yet appealing to fans of both. It’s a song for lovers of music, and those whose who don’t mind a beautiful song with a melancholic seam. It’s also a song that sits well in the canon of both artists.

Listen to ‘Heart You Saved’ on Soundcloud.

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www.lachlanbryanandthewildes.com

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Interview: Lachlan Bryan

238629-L-LOSince I saw Lachlan Bryan play for the first time, several years ago in Tamworth, and then listened to his solo album Shadow of the Gun, I’ve been a fan. Bryan has a way with words, and a way with music, and he combines the two to tremendous effect. The latest release from him and The Wildes, Some Girls (Quite) Like Country Music, provides more evidence of that effect, and I was very pleased to have an opportunity to talk to Lachlan about the album.

It’s release day and it’s a fantastic album – but how are you feeling? Are you relieved it’s out? Nervous about people’s reactions? Are you excited?

I see people posting about their release days, because I’m Facebook friends with other musicians, and I know everyone tries to make it look exciting, but I think it’s more nerve-wracking than exciting. It’s not so much that I’m nervous about people’s reactions – we really love this record. We feel very close to it – so obviously people’s reactions are important – but it’s more that, I guess, the goalposts keep changing when you release music. Once upon a time people probably wanted millions of record sales, and then at other times people wanted reviews and things, and everything has changed. There’s not really many music magazines now and newspapers don’t run stories about music very often. So it’s almost as though release day isn’t as important – it’s when we go out and start playing shows and actually playing songs to people and giving them a chance to take it home with them. That’s probably what I look forward to more than actual release day.

Do you think there’s now a more direct relationship with your audience because there aren’t those gatekeepers – well, they’re gatekeepers in a way – but especially with the genre you’re in, do you feel like that connection is stronger with the listener?

Yes, I do. I think the relationship with the audience is more important than ever. And I have to admit that for me the best way to have that has always been live performance, and maybe even more than ever now. I’m not the best at getting on Facebook and thanking everybody all the time, and being nice and friendly. I try and do those kinds of things but it doesn’t come naturally to me. But it does come naturally to me to get up on stage and play the songs. So the two aspects of music that I love are playing, and writing and recording are one process for us these days. All the other stuff is weird. But I do love the close connection with the audience. I do feel it more at live shows than I do during social media experiences. And I remember when we first put out albums, we’d worry about reviews coming in and all that sort of stuff – ‘What’s this writer or that writer going to say about us’ – and it’s a real shame in a way that a lot of those writers don’t have their jobs at the Sydney Morning Herald or wherever any more. So while I do love the close relationship with the public, I do lament the lack of gatekeepers in some ways as well.

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Single release: ‘The Basics of Love’ by Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes with Shanley Del

I’ve been waiting a long time for Lachlan Bryan to release a bad song – and I’m still waiting. Because, yet again, he seems incapable of turning out an unsatisfactory tune, and this time he has roped not only his band, the Wildes, into the failure but ARIA award winner Shanley Del as well.

Bryan and bandmate Damian Cafarella wrote ‘The Basics of Love’ with Melbourne songwriter Nia Robertson, and the track is from the forthcoming Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes album, due for release in 2018. I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of that being a dud, either. In fact, I expect it to be another extraordinary collection of great songs, just like the last few albums.

Watch ‘The Basics of Love’ on YouTube.

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Amazon

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Single release: ‘A Long Way to Fall’ by Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes

The Mountain, the most recent album from Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, was released at the end of 2015. Fans (like me) might be growing a little impatient for a new album … but if you’re not yet a fan, the latest single from that fine album, ‘A Long Way to Fall’, has just been released, so take this as an opportunity to acquaint yourself with one of the best acts in Australian music – then you can join the ranks of the impatient.

Listen to ‘A Long Way to Fall’ on Soundcloud. Buy The Mountain on 

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