There are some days where you just can’t get out of bed; it feels like the whole world is conspiring to send you under. Singer/songwriter Lou Bradley walks back into SAE studio to record her third album this week, and with what’s been going down in Lou’s world, it’s testament to her spirit and the triumphant nature of her work.
Says Lou: ‘In 2010/2011, I lost nearly everything that I had hold of as the ‘perfect me, perfect mum and perfect life’. I lost a baby, my house (that I was supposed to live happily ever after in with my family) and my record deal which was supposed to make me famous (because my batch of demos for my new album weren’t “country” enough)… not to mention my self worth. After kicking and screaming, arguing with the gods and whoever else I thought was out to get me, and pulling all the punches I had done in my life previously to hang on to something as tightly as I could, it all just slipped away anyway. As if there was a greater force beyond my control.’
Lou believed that surrendering was easier than fighting, because sometimes in life you have to let it all wash over you.
‘So after I have let these changes finally happen, I have begun to get a new life back. And surprise surprise – it ain’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. We’re not dead. And happiness really is a state of mind. And it’s true what they say – when one door closes, another one opens (even though I wanted to stab each person that said that to me at the time).’
It was Lou’s songwriting that she believed gave her the strength to pull it all together.
‘Writing songs is what I do best, and that didn’t stop all throughout this life pivot. In fact, I became so prolific that I couldn’t ignore it anymore and one night while I was sitting in the car waiting for my daughter to finish netball training, I decided to give the music biz a bit of a poke (even though it was still dammed to hell in my book) and see what local talent we had in the way of producers.’
‘It took me all of five minutes before I found myself emailing local producer Anthony Lycenko. Amongst many artists, Anthony has worked with Elvis Costello, U2, Geoff Emerick (only The Beatles’ engineer) and in Australia with Pete Murray. As I emailed Anthony, I vowed to not get ‘sucked in’ and tell him straight about who I was and what I had done, my ARIA nomination, record deal, and now how I thought the music industry was a big load of shit. But still I had a whole bunch of songs and about five bucks and wondered if he wanted to make a record without all the bells and whistles, because frankly I couldn’t bear to conform or to do it any other way. Of course I assumed he wouldn’t answer me and put me in the ‘Mullum crackpot’ basket… but five minutes after I hit send, he replied saying that my email was the best introduction email he had ever had and wanted to make a record. I insisted that he at least listen to the demos before committing.’
Lou has worked hard to get the money together for her recording, in fact if you haven’t seen her busking somewhere then you obviously never leave your home!
‘We are recording live to tape and I have invited my most favourite musos to be a part of it. Rod Coe (double bass and old school EMI in-house producer and producer of The Saints), BJ Barker (drummer for Kasey Chambers for 20 years and played on my first record), Bill Chambers (Kasey’s dad and best dobro player in the country and has played on both my previous albums) and my boring husband Phil… who picks the best banjo and mandolin that I have ever heard. Anthony will produce and engineer the record live to tape at Rocking Horse studios and at home – old-school style!’
While we await the release of her new album, Lou can be found busking in and around Byron and Mullum.