What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
Blues and Roots.
Give us a little bio about you.
Bridgetown is Western Australia’s spiritual home of blues and roots, so it is no surprise that resident singer-songwriter Tracey Barnett has that music in her soul. Fusing traditional blues and country elements with modern rock rhythms, Tracey’s music has taken her across Australia, earning her a Western Australia Music (WAM) Award, chart success, and airtime on Triple J, ABC and community radio. Tracey’s second album and forth release, Eyes Forward, was released into the world on September 10. The 12-track album has already spawned three successful singles – Gotta Get Out, Eyes Forward and Darkness in the Light – each nominated for a WAM Song Of The Year Award. Produced by James Newhouse, the album shows off Tracey’s ever-evolving songwriting, singing and guitar playing… not to mention the staggering arsenal she wields as a player. A multi-instrumentalist with a powerful stage presence, Tracey is best witnessed in concert. Throughout her career, she has made the conscious decision to remain solo, and as a result, has created closeness between her and her audience. This connection, along with her sheer instinct for songwriting, is what makes Tracey Barnett one of the most exciting modern blues artists in Australia.
What made you go into music?
Music was always a passion for as long as I can remember, and particularly always wanted to learn guitar, even though it took me until I was 14 to finally get my hands on one to teach myself. Initially it was all about being rhythm guitarist in alternative rock and metal bands, but those opportunities dried up early on. My solo career path was definitely inspired by John Butler. Realising what a full sound can be created as a solo artist, which was great coming from a small country town where all my musical contacts had moved on to the city.
Who are your influences?
John Butler, Larkin Poe, and still a lot of the alternative bands I listen to like Tool.
Are you signed?
You released your new single ‘Freedom’, tell us more about the single.
It is such a groovy, gutsy track. One of the few songs we used keys on. One of my favourite sounds in the second verse is the Wurlitzer with lots of distortion, delay, reverb and tremolo which gives a nice lift to that verse. It is also the only track on the album where the resonator is the main guitar.
What is the meaning behind the single?
It’s one of the songs I wrote as a message to a part of myself I was trying to let go of, to find a sense of freedom and stop being held back by the demands I had created and was holding myself accountable for. We can definitely be our own worst enemy and limit ourselves so much. This song hopefully inspires people to question what they want and what is authentic to them, and go do that! Rather than constantly worrying what everyone else thinks we should be doing and what their opinions might be.
What was the writing and recording process like?
It’s been a song written over many years. The basic form, riff and lyrics have always been there since its birth, but feeling like the song was enough and worthy of recording took me a while. Once I began pre-production I saw its promise and then when I took it to my producer, James Newhouse, he was able to help me create that full, dark and powerful sound I had been searching for, for this particular track.
Describe the track in two words.
Who did you work with on the single?
All the moving parts are written and played by myself, but producer James Newhouse brought it to life and he filled in the percussion around my basic beat.
We also see a Music video for ‘Freedom’, what was the creative process like?
I had a vision to represent ‘Freedom’ in the form of a horse … one of my own horses to be specific. I knew the cinematographer I wanted to work with, Tashi Hall, but I didn’t have the budget to bring her 4hrs from the city to my home to film my horse and surroundings. We also wanted a separation between the story and the story telling, me. So I shot the storyline footage myself, visited the city for Tashi to film me as the storyteller and then left Tashi to work her editing magic. My beautiful and crazy friend got up at 5am to let me film her running in the misty break of dawn … it was quite and adventure and she definitely worked her harder than me ha ha!
You have also released your new album ‘Eyes Forward’, tell us more about the album and the creative process like?
To be honest when I started working through the pre-production for each possible track I wasn’t sure whether it would be an EP or an album. But with James Newhouse’s encouragement I came to realise there was potential in a lot more of the songs than my critical brain was allowing me to see. It was a lengthy process this time due to budget, and self doubt. We recorded in several small blocks beginning in October 2018 and final recording day in December 2019. I feel truly honoured to work with someone as talented and encouraging as James, he’s the best producer ever. It was just me and him bringing these songs to life in his beautiful rural studio.
Describe each track in two words.
WORTH IT – grit, blues
EYES FORWARD – hopeful, fun
GOTTA GET OUT – strength, resilience
COMPANY – grief, consoling
FREEDOM – uplifting, powerful
HAUNTED – ghost story
FIVE YEAR PLAN – first collaboration
COLD HEART – bold, rockin’
DARKNESS IN THE LIGHT – best riff
PHOENIX – rising up
CALLING ME OUTSIDE – nurture nature
A TASTE OF MORNING – bird life
Do you have any live shows or a tour coming up and if so let us know where we can catch you at?
17 December – BRIDGETOWN, Australia – The Cidery
18 December – BASSENDEAN, Australia – Cork N Bottle
7 January – EATON, Australia – Summer Sounds at Cadell Park
14 January – BUNBURY, Australia – The Parade Hotel
22 January – DENMARK, Australia – Denmark Arts Markets
23 January – ALBANY, Australia – Six Degree’s
26 January – PERTH, Australia – Sofar Sounds
27 January – BUNBURY, Australia – The Prince of Wales
28 January – BUSSELTON, Australia – Rocky Ridge Brewery
5 March – NANNUP, Australia – Nannup Music Festival
What else can we expect at the end of 2021/ Early 2022?
More shows in Western Australia, getting the live experience of the album to the people and I start recording the next project at the end of February.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Recording a lot more in a studio I hope to build at home.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Just do the best you can at this current moment in time.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Water bottle by Earth Bottles (they’re the best!)
Rooibos Vanilla Tea Bags
Herbal tincture for energy and confidence
It’s about the music, not me