In the lead to their anticipated release, I caught up with Lachy from Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird to chat about the upcoming album ‘Electric Brown’.
Last year you released ‘Queen of hearts’ and ‘Melbourne Bitter’ EP, both musically and lyrically how does the album stack against the previous releases? Do you feel like the album gives the fans a better taste of who you are as a band?
Yeah, definitely. I think with every song I write, you kinda become closer and closer each time to a more authentic version of yourself. I think earlier on when I was songwriting, I would write in quite a literal sense like I’d like all the lyrics to read well on a page and if things didn’t make kind of grammatical sense that always fix them in a could be a bit clunky like that but there’s a really special and sort of mystical relationship between music and lyrics and when you put words to music it all of the sudden becomes quite forgiving and things don’t actually have to make that much sense.
Not that I go out of my not to make sense, I want the songs to actually be about things but I’d say there’s more sense of freedom lyrically in the new record. I wasn’t trying to sort of edit myself as much and just allowing things to come out. The first song ‘Blazers’ like a really good example of that it’s just really poetic gibberish but it feels great to sing and I think it’s just as impactful as a song.
Your debut album ‘Electric Brown’ will be out on March 2nd. Could you tell us a bit about bring the album to fruition and why 2018 felt like the year for the release?
Timings kinda everything. While I was making those EPs earlier on I didn’t know how people even finished one song and then once I wrote my first song, I was like ‘how the hell do people write 5 of these’. How the hell do people make one record that’s got this consistency it’s like 45 minutes of music. After the Melbourne Bitter EP came out it was just this sense of like ‘cool, I think rather than another EP it’s probably time to do an album’.
I think I’ve got a clear enough idea of this kind of consistent sound that I want and I can write a dozen songs that’ll fit into this one little world. No one asked me to do it, no one was telling me it’d be a good time to do an album. I just had this sense that the next body of work will be a record and I immediately got to work on it. It took as long as it took, it’s a very long process. It took me like a year to write and 6 months to record and there’s a lot of publicity stuff, so it’s a long process but yeah I think it’s coming out at the right time.
A single release sometimes can lead to a “breakthrough” and sets the overall tone for the band. What made you choose ‘Blaze’ and ‘Morning Person’ as singles for the album?
‘Blaze’ was just so much fun, like the whole way through. It was one of the first songs I wrote for the record, it was fun to write and it’s really fun to play live. Therefore it was just really fun to record, it was an innate feeling. I think it’s also a statement it’s a bit of a departure from our old stuff and the song itself if it’s about anything, it’s about burning away these old parts of yourself and something new coming out. It kinda felt appropriate, it’s like ‘you haven’t heard from us, this is what we are now’. it’s very colorful and it’s new and that felt like a bit of a statement but then morning person was to us, the most hard-hitting. It had a kind of complex meaning for me in some ways.
Are you a morning person?
I’ve always woken up pretty early and especially in the last year or so. I had a really hard year, last year and I just wasn’t sleeping well. I’d wake up rather than a lie there in bed and kind of toss and turn, I just got good at getting up. It was often a few hours before the sun would come up but I still do it now even though I’m in a great place, I love waking up early and walking around. But to me, that song was kind of about feeling like this really great version of myself in the morning, very meditative and make all these plans.
But then you know as the day goes on and you get knocked around by the day like experience at work, whatever it is, often I wasn’t the best version of myself when I get home at night and I wouldn’t have done the things that I wanted to do in the morning so that song is written from the nighttime version of myself just questioning the morning person.
How did you choose the tracklist for this album? Were there any songs that didn’t make the cut but which were on the album?
Absolutely. There’s probably 15-16 songs that we set out to record and then widdled it down. There’s a relationship between music and the recording process, you know. There are songs you can sometimes clearly in your head but when you sit down to record them they’re just not flowing. There was a song, “Love Lotto”, which was kind of about like Tinder and modern dating, that I really loved to but never came to fruition.
Some of the songs have quite a sad undertone to them but is paired with upbeat melodies. Should there be more update sad songs, where you can both dance and cry?
Yeah, you’re spot on. I think it’s one of the really great things about music specifically that you know sometimes there is like a stillness to a sad song. Radiohead was really big for me in that way like incredibly melancholic and you can tell this so much sadness but they kind of showing you how to move to it and you can you can dance in a sad way or there is a kind of catharsis through moving to music and ultimately music is meant to be moved to. I love that idea of moving through your sadness. You don’t have to tell people so directly that a song is sad. It’s more like, “Hey, it’s ok to feel sad and rejoice in that”.
As far as the lyrical structure for the album, where do you draw your inspiration from? is it purely based on your personal experience or from movies, books?
Normally from books. I love reading, I don’t take a line directly from books or anything but something when you’re reading [doesn’t have to be poetry] a novel, good writing can sometimes have this flow and rhythm to it and that where I take a lot of inspiration from. Generally like a have a few rules I don’t really like borrowing too much from my classic songwriting lyrical things I can I don’t ride too much about nature, mountains, and trees. I just think that’s kind of being done.
What track are you most proud of from ‘Electric Brown’?
Transient is the one I’m proud of. There’s a certain kind of musical complexity to it but again, I like writing things that interesting compositionally and I study composition, I try and do things a bit differently but also make them really accessible and I think transit for me. It tows that line really well that from it like a theoretical perspective there’s a lot of really interesting stuff going on there musically but it’s just a song that makes sense the first time you hear it.
it’s just really directly connected to a lot of been a really important experiences that I had but I think it’s just one of those songs that everyone can take to their own place when they listen to it then I like I said before it’s incredibly sad song with but it’s executed it thing synth, glorious way.
There are songs that are being created and released purely from the mindset of because a number 1 radio hit. How do you distance yourself from that trap and create a sense of authenticity in your songwriting?
You know it’s just like being a person if then trying to be an authentic person you’ve got to do it on your own terms because then you will only ever have yourself to hold accountable like if you spend your life trying to be a certain way for other people are trying to make things for other people and it doesn’t work you’ll always blame the fact that you did that.
Maybe I wasn’t attacking it from the right angle, you know just be yourself certain. That applies to songwriting in a massive way like you gotta start from your own experience and I can’t pretend to be other people or write with other people’s values like everything comes from experience that I’ve had but it’s all about finding what is universal about that experience.
Electric Brown is out now!
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