Track by Track: August River Band dive deeper into the tracks on their debut album Thank You Pain

Brisbane alt-folk group August River Band have today released their debut album Thank you Pain

The Brisbane based trio – made up of Eev Ferreira, Gerard Kerr, and Lil Burrows – have developed a sound that fuses rock, folk and indie music. Their unique sound offers wonderfully juxtaposed chemistry between the tortured singer-songwriter, the classically trained violinist and the hard-hitting rock and roll drummer. In the band’s own words: “You have to see it to believe it.”

And on that note, you can catch August River Band at their album launch tonight in the main room of The Tivoli, Brisbane.

The band’s last show was to a sellout crowd at The Milk Factory in February so they’re itching to get back into playing live gigs.

To find out more about their debut album, the AU review is proud to present a track by track rundown delivered by the band themselves.

Go and play the album, and read on to find out more.


“Hallowed Be”
This song was where this chapter of my musical journey started. I had been out of it for about 2 years after arriving in Australia. Finally I sat down and from the outset I was determined to write music that makes me feel good. I had been completely over sensitised with rock, blues and pop I just could not play another standard G chord. I had to expand my own mind and skills. I then started playing with odd time signatures. This riff came first and when I played it initially it seems impossible to imagine singing over it. For whatever reason I persisted and a few weeks later the penny dropped. I am a DIY muso, no training so it takes me longer.
Internally I was in a completely new space, starting from zero again and reflecting deeply on the culmination of my decisions the last decade..
“Hallowed Be” is an ode to Pain. I am deeply grateful for its teachings. Make no mistake I don’t like it and certainly aim to avoid it but alas there is no greater mentor.
The album title and initially the name of the song; “Thank You Pain” stem from this song and it very much sets the theme for the album.
The point of all this for me is to pour whatever I am and have learnt into the collective, the audience, right there and then. I hope that it feeds, perpetuates, relates, empathises and encourages the souls it lands in. Perhaps it does nothing. My human mandate is to give it, to give me.

This song reflects on a time I left a life behind and moved to a new town, found my way to myself over five years and left with collateral damage in the wings. Just a few broken hearts. If we can’t love ourselves we will never allow another to love us. That was me, avoiding love at all costs whilst longing for it desperately.
It was the best 5 years of my life…

“Mr Sky”
This was the first song I wrote after leaving behind a decade of serving in the church. It was a prayer I guess. As with many of my songs the reference to “a girl” is a metaphor for a bigger picture i.e. our relationship and disillusion with faith, destiny, transcendence…
I celebrated the fact that I had reached a point where I was moving ahead trusting my instincts and no longer what I believed I needed to be. It was the start of that journey anyway. It’ll never finish.
“Got my box guitar and my dancing shoes and all these shattered dreams will have to come to.”

“In My Arms”
This track discusses the notion of wanting to be loved while simultaneously wanting to be alone. I have often found myself in scenarios where I knew I had succumbed to the euphoria of my ego finding a stage upon which to do its dance. Knowing full well it will end in tears I embrace, kiss and swoon. I used to think that it was their hurt I feared but it was, in fact, my experience of their hurt that I feared.

This is my most direct, simple honest song in that there is no poetry in it. It’s just a real and painful conversation.
Many of us in our youth find our identity in relationships. We rely on someone to make us happy and carry us through the hard times. When we rely on them for it we cut off their grace and make it their responsibility. That’s when their love dies.

“The Gift”
Between Hallowed Be and The Gift most my themes are covered off. “The Gift” celebrates weakness as “the gift she left me”. Grace as a virtue is of great importance to me. It creates space for us all to move and breathe and have our being.

“The Dead I Raised”
There is a story here of a man who was like a father to me that died and I tried to resuscitate him to no avail. That moment is not something I will forget. In the days that followed his family tried desperately to maintain his legacy and it destroyed them. While you there do what you need to do tomorrow might not come and don’t build it all around yourself. I guess in this conversation I judged legacy as a fallacy.

“Cupid’s .45”
I have spent much energy avoiding love. This was one that I couldn’t fight. It was initially called “Chemical Mountain” referring to the chemical rush that comes with love’s beautiful drama.

“Change your Stars”
There was a moment where I looked across a room at the most beautiful woman carrying my first child and I thought; “yes, you can change your stars”

This is about my disillusionment with my own ingrained concepts of relationships and addresses some fundamental beliefs throughout society. The first is the belief that chemistry between people is a signal and has to be acted upon decisively. Secondly, the religion-based belief that we have to ‘leave and cleave’. Further to this, so many times I have found myself in a scenario where I wish I could just enjoy the friendship of the other person but fully aware they needed it to dissolve into a next step be it sex, or a relationship. This robs us, I believe, of opportunities to learn from each other and learn from many.

Thank You Pain is out now on all major streaming services.

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Ed Hirst

I'm either listening to music, writing about music, or writing my own music! Keep up to date with my latest projects @edhirsty