Cat Power, Concrete Blonde, Susie Quatro
Bridie O'Brien- Guitars, Perc, vox. Syd Green- Drums, Steel Pan.
Black Dub, The Police, Buck 65, Cold Chisel
Early February this year saw me on one of many planes bound for the Caribbean to meet my friend and producer Syd Green in Anguilla. A self funded search for happiness and to excavate the songs that I had buried away. Anguilla is a remote, goat and rum ridden unruly country bearing resemblance at times to the third world. Most locals hitch hike across the country or drive beat up door-less cars. There are a few sports cars here and there. Tourists are thin spread and reek of the ultra wealthy elite. A six pack of corona is $6 US. A litre of top shelf rum is $10US. A small block of cheese is $9 US, an unusual value system that took some time to comprehend.
It is hot, humid and has the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the world.
Syd had access to a gorgeous sounding drum kit, some designer mics and a protools 003 rig and laptop. I brought over 1 acoustic guitar. We borrowed an electric guitar off a generous local boy called Romano, and set forth to make an EP. We had a spectacular view of the ocean and not much else. We made percussion from pebbles, rum bottles, a broken fan, cutlery, sticks and parmesan jars. I wrote songs without words and some with. We battled power and water outages for hours at a time, sometimes a few days. I arrived broken in spirit from a downhearted 2 years and a sore body from working too hard to even afford the journey. Within hours though, I started to heal and a few days later I started to love and forgive myself.... I also had an epiphany of gratitude, which has stayed with me.
The songs are so different. But each one is visited by the steel pan drum.
We recorded in a haunted plantation house from 1767 and a prestigious art academy on the cliff facing towards Barbados. We also recorded in a hand built church.
We were faced with low-fi options and technical challenges, and even though I could have over-dubbed back here in Australia, I decided not to. I wanted this EP to remain true to its creation. It was made in Anguilla and every sound you hear was crafted there. The production is personal, punchy, unsafe and all together brilliant.
THE CARIBBEAN SESSIONS is now available on iTunes worldwide.
**Check out the music video 'Loch Ness' filmed in New Zealand July 2014!