Coming Up From Down Under
The casual fan
of country music might be surprised to discover the next sensation in the industry
is a woman who hails from Australias Outback, but Kasey Chambers is quickly
making that scenario a reality. Chambers latest album, Wayward Angel,
is already a mainstay on VH-1 Country and CMT; and, her first single, Like
A River, appears to have struck a resonant nerve with many fans.
casual fan of country music might be surprised to discover the next
sensation in the industry is a woman who hails from Australias
Outback, but Kasey Chambers is quickly making that scenario a reality.
Chambers latest album, Wayward Angel, is already a mainstay
on VH-1 Country and CMT; and, her first single, Like A River,
appears to have struck a resonant nerve with many fans.
Chambers is no newcomer to the music scene, but it has been several
years since her last release, 2001s Barricades & Brickwalls.
Unlike many artists taking an extended hiatus, the chanteuse was
doing something meaningful with her life; she gave birth to her
first son, Talon. Consequently, the interim was an excellent time
to reevaluate ones life and priorities. She observes, Having
my son gave me confidence, made me relax, and made me realize that
certain things are not as important as I once may have thought .
. . Nothing brings you back to earth after the high of a performance
like dirty diapers (laughs).
Perhaps one of the sources of the singer/songwriters stability
may come from the fact that she has always maintained inextricable
ties with her family. Her brother Nash produces her albums while
simultaneously managing her rising career. Her father plays guitar
for her while her mother sells tour merchandise. It is literally
a family operation in every sense of the word. Upon speaking with
the singer, one can instantly recognize the strength of her values.
She beams, Just for a start, it makes it more enjoyable for
me to have them on the road with me. Its like a security blanket
to have my mum.
Not only has Chambers grown as human being, but also as an artist.
When noting the strengths of Wayward Angel, she observes,
I feel this album is the most me of any of them (previous
albums). Its true to what I am and not a collection of influences
or what I was listening to at the time.
On the song Paper Aeroplane, she deviated from her normal
approach on several levels. She explains, In the past, I always
wrote songs from my own perspective. That one was inspired by a
story I saw on A Current Affair (an Australian news program)
about a man who had lost his wife to cancer. The beautiful
elegy, which the songwriter cites as a personal favorite from the
CD, was also the first song in which she is accompanied solely by
piano. She recalls, I knew immediately that I wanted to record
that song (Paper Aeroplane) with piano and it was a
very fun experience.
The album is 14 songs overspilling raw emotion, charm, honesty,
and beauty. The track Hollywood deals with the fleeting
sense of reality that comes with rising fame, while Lost And
Found renders the bittersweet frailty of saying goodbye to
a loving relationship.
Interestingly, Chambers notes that the way she is perceived is quite
different in the US than Down Under. She explains, In Australia,
I am considered more of a pop singer with the ARIA Awards (Australias
equivalent to the Grammy), but in America, I am basically an alt-country
With a genuine modesty, she quips, Its hard for me to
imagine that America would care about a small-town girl from the
Outback of Australia when there are so many amazing artists there.
Its really an honor. That being said, regaled musicians
such as Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris are ardent fans. With
the gritty, sweet, honest storytelling presented on Wayward Angel,
the rest of the world will soon follow.