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Interview: Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks In 'Shadows and Sounds of the Night'

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

Hailing from Perth, Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks blend stripped back folk and warm indie melodies to sweep us off our feet every time. Their latest track 'Inner City Lights' is a gorgeous taste of what's to come from their upcoming EP Shadows and Sounds of the Night, out October 8. 'Inner City Lights' sees the band take on a darker and more brooding sound. It paints a picture of wandering aimlessly through city streets, soaking in the late night atmosphere. The track is moody and introspective, capturing a distinct sense of directionless and longing.

In the lead up to his newly released EP, we had a chat with Jack Davies about his incredible songwriting and experiences in the Perth music scene.

‘Inner City Lights’ is a perfect example of your unique ability to capture and describe the beauty in your surroundings. Does this style of songwriting come naturally to you?

"Aw thank you. I guess I do focus a bit on physical surroundings when I write, it definitely makes me feel more grounded. Plus there are so many beautiful lights, sights and sounds in the world, it's hard to avoid writing about. I get a bit lost if I'm writing a song that doesn't have a sense of place."

What themes have been inspiring your songwriting as of late?

"I think the coming and going of anxiety has been a big part of my writing lately. Just how one moment it might feel like the world is ending and in the next moment life feels like a party. Writing songs can be very cathartic and helpful to make sense of those times. It’s something solid to hold onto when everything else is changing."

Your forthcoming EP ‘Shadows and Sounds of the Night’ is out Friday 8 October. Do you have a favourite lyric from any of your upcoming songs you can share with us?

"I like to laugh at the last verse of "Penguin". It's about a night spent crying and watching David Attenborough's Frozen Planet 2."

But then my computer dies, the screen goes black/

My sober face suddenly comes, staring back/

And I'm confronted by the realisation that/

I'm all alone/

I'm all alone again/

So I plug the charger in, grab a pizza slice/

Tonight I've decided to treat, myself nice/

Roll a cigarette and put a movie on/

Splashin' round under the cold antarctic sun

What has been the highlight of creating this new EP?

"It was quite exciting to include a couple solo songs. I've never recorded a solo piano track before. I wanted to get it as a live take so it was a bit difficult, but rewarding and a fun learning curve."

Perth seems to be constantly unveiling exciting new talent. What’s it like to be a part of Perth’s bustling music scene? How has it grown over the years?

"There's certainly more and more band's coming out with amazing music. Especially the younger crew just starting to play shows, that's where all the magic starts. I've only been a part of the scene for a few years but it's definitely not as set in stone as it appears from the outside, it grows and changes shape as different bands come through. People standing up for what they believe in. I'm excited to see some of these really unique and switched on younger bands start their own journey and make the scene their own."

What gig do you have coming up that you’re most excited for?

"Probably our EP release at The Regal Theatre. I've always dreamed of playing a show like that. It's going to be a very memorable one for me. Costumes, stage design, lights and maybe even a bit of theatrics!"

Which artists do you have on repeat right now?

"Just went onto my Spotify "on repeat" playlist and I have a couple. It appears I've been playing Karen Dalton's In My Own Time album a lot. A lot of Smog / Bill Callahan. A band / album called Slowblow, a heartbreaking collection of songs. Then also some songs by Gregor, a wonderful artist from Melbourne that I was shown recently. Also a lot of Otis Redding."

What’s the most memorable gig story you have to share?

"I'm not sure what the most memorable story would be. One funny moment was playing a show on new years a couple years back. I snapped my string mid song and didn't have a backup guitar. The band kept jamming over an instrumental section whilst I drunkenly wound an electric guitar string onto my acoustic. The suspense was high as I kneeled in the middle of the stage. The crowd watched eagerly and erupted with applause when I got it in tune and plugged back in. I then went to hit a big chord as we dropped into the chorus and the same string immediately snapped a second time. Bit of an anti climax I guess."

A big thank you to Jack for sharing his stories with us! Shadows and Sounds of the Night is out Friday 8 October. We can't wait!

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