Perth Indie-folk group Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks have just released their new EP, Songs For a Long Walk. It’s a beautiful EP, which showcases the songwriting of Jack Davies, and the musical talents of Davies and The Bush Chooks.
His songwriting shows great maturity, and this collection of songs would happily sit amongst those of established folk singer-songwriters with large back-catalogues. The tracks on this album, whilst keeping their folk-roots, are diverse in style and content. They vary from straight-up story-telling to more abstract imagery, keeping the listener engaged from beginning to end. There are some sweet harmonies, precision guitars and a mellotron thrown in for good luck.
Jack has put together a track-by-track description of each song, with some fascinating insights into the recording and the meanings behind them. Press ‘play’ and read on.
Loving You’s Like a Mouldy Cup of Tea
We wanted to introduce the EP with a more down to earth tune. This song is about falling in love in a share house. I played three acoustic guitars and a banjo over this song, so it’s driven by a real clangy acoustic texture. The song also has the sounds of my front porch, crows and cars. It grounds the rest of the EP for me, and it was funny when my housemates heard it at night because it sounds so much like 10am on a thursday. It also has a weird rhythm which is why we didn’t use drums.
Some Things Don’t Last a Very Long Time
This is a song about life in general I guess. Written at the end of last year, when I was feeling very unsure about life and things were changing a bit too quickly at the time. I think the line “it could be your cornflakes, losing their crunch”, kind of summed up how I felt. The rest of the song fell into place after that. At the end of the song you can hear George and myself yelling in the background, a definite nod to “One of Cannot Be Wrong” by Leonard Cohen.
We spent far too long trying to record the slide guitar to this tune, nearly a whole day before eventually reverting back to just using the original take! It’s funny how that works. The song is definitely different for us, but I absolutely adore the violin and electric guitar singing together, they’re such a cool combo. It was cool to be able to play a different sort of acoustic guitar part, more licks and minor chords. The electric guitar is definitely the ripping power behind the song though. The lyrics use a lot more metaphor and symbolism than usual. They’re also a bit darker.
Half Frozen Beer
I actually wrote this song about two days before going to the studio, because I wanted something more cheery. We jammed it only a couple times, so huge props to Chet who played the drums live over the song. The acoustic / vocals / drums / bass were recorded together as a three piece live, and the rest of the track was recorded after. As soon as we recorded the electric guitar the whole band fell in love and we knew it would be a fun one to release. We launched it as a single, and then COVID hit and we weren’t able to finish the rest of the EP for aaaaages!
Perhaps I’ll Drift Away
This song came together really easily when we demoed it, but proved more difficult to record at the studio. The mellotron (flute sounding keyboard) part really brought it together though. The spacey bits were recorded by droning a note on a space echo pedal. It was really fun to try out different techniques like that. If I were to re do the song though I think I’d really strip it down and pull the guitars back. It was a good learning experience though.
Michael is based on a night I had about a year and a half ago, when a stranger ran over to me balling his eyes out. It turned out his brother had just passed away in prison and he was really struggling. I never intended to write about it, but the memory of that night really stuck with me and eventually it came out. It’s always been a bit of an emotionally charged one to sing or talk about. In terms of the recording, I love how the ending of the song came together, George’s guitar blows me away. Our friend Miranda jumped on the Cello for that song too to help bring some extra depth and they killed it. I think “Magenta” by Josephine Foster was a bit of an influence at the time which certainly pushed us towards the strings and sparse sections of piano.
Songs For a Long Walk is out now on all major streaming services.
Feature image credit: Annie Davies