Lou Bradley
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Lou Bradley


Band Americana Country


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"Lou Bradley "La la la not listening" review Nulla/EMI"

"Country folk singer songwriter Lou Bradley delivers a stunning follow-up to her 2007 debut. This is a truly beautiful album with simple, yet thoughtful, lyrics." 4 stars. Jonathon Moran, Sunday Telegraph - Sunday Telegraph


" Love someone" - album. 4 radio singles, 3 video clips award nominated.
" La la la not listening" - album. 3 radio singles, 1 video clip. Signed with EMI Australia



“I always find it a bit weird being labeled a particular style of singer or songwriter. And especially when it comes to poor old country music. It often gets such a bad rap. A bit unfair I reckon, considering modern music, as we know it originally came down from the mountains as old country folk songs. Ask Bob Dylan. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of crap country music, but there is plenty of crap of all kinds of music… I just love a well written song played and sung by people who mean it – in any genre.”
Lou Bradley has just released her second album La La La Not Listening, led by a title track directed at those that would dare pigeonhole or try to stifle this free spirited, ARIA and CMAA nominated, talent. It’s her first through the Slim Dusty and Joy McKean Nulla label.
Lou calls it ‘Hillbilly Pop’ or maybe ‘Bohemian Country’. Which makes sense, considering she grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches, left home at 15 and joined a rock band, married the guitarist and had all three of their children by the time she was 24, was an ‘A’ philosophy student until she realised she was sick of only talking about a good life and decided to run away with her family and move to the hills of Mullumbimby and live one. Living happily ever after was the plan as they settled in this idyllic locale playing music and writing songs. They are still there and still doing that.
“I remember someone told me when I was playing at a café in Mullumbimby, that I sounded like a country singer and my songs were like country songs,” Lou says. “It never really occurred to me what sort of singer I was. Some of my songs are about the land, some are about people and some about life and how it all seems to me.”
All of them come from a real place. So real that some times the honesty is a little unsettling for those closest to her. The first time her husband and guitarist Phil Chaffer heard the harrowing Curl Up And Die he asked if everything was alright within their relationship.
“The songs come from a real place but it’s theatrical as well,” Lou explains. “You can be down for a few hours and you dive down into that real state and then when it comes out as a song it sounds like it’s been going on for years and you are gonna die from it. It can come from a real place but the fact is you make it into a song.”
She then adds playfully, “It doesn’t hurt to keep him (i.e. Phil) guessing.”
Lou’s casual, unrushed attitude to life extends to her career. In 2005 she was included among the inaugural recipients of the John Butler Seed, a talent grant that enabled Lou (and 25 of her closest family and friends) to pile into an old bus for a four week tour through the heart of Australia to promote her debut release, a self-titled and self funded E.P (titled Hillbilly Pop). They were based with the Mutitjulu tribe, the traditional custodians of Uluru, for three days. The heart-touching experience would provide the inspiration for Uluru, the first official single to be taken from La La La Not Listening.
February 2007 saw the release of the ARIA & CMAA Awards nominated album Love Someone. In early 2008 Lou began woodshedding material for her follow up. She wasn’t expecting it would take 18 months but the intervening period led her to producer/artist Shane Nicholson who agreed to pare down Lou’s unwieldy batch of 40 songs to the dozen you hear on La La La Not Listening.
The album was recorded at The Sound Hole, the studio built at the back of the North Coast home he shares with wife Kasey Chambers. The producer handpicked the musicians including Bill Chambers, Mick Albeck, Mark Collins and the rhythm section of John Watson and Ian Lees. Two of Lou and Phil’s three children (Jackson and Lucy Chaffer, who sings the hidden track, her own composition Why Don’t They Love Our Land) also make an appearance.
The producer’s quiet demeanour supplied an obvious complement to the chatty singer but despite their very different personalities, the album’s sessions were harmonious.
“We agreed it would be nice to make something quite sparse and earthy. Shane had good ideas and he’s a good listener. He thinks for a long time. Sometimes I thought I was working with someone in a coma,” she jokes. “He’d say one word in a whole day it seemed.”
Shane’s recollection of the experience is, as expected a little more polite.
"Lou Bradley is a singer/songwriter that's resolutely honest and true to her art. Working her way through folk, pop, bluegrass and old-time country, she covers all bases with oodles of conviction. This album was a lot of fun to make. The good ones always are!"
A good one ...The man is far too modest.