For Byron Bay trio The Buckleys, 2020 has been a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from the lowest lows of a music industry on hold, to the dizzying high of releasing their debut album last month.
Undoubtedly, it’s a special time right now for the group who, just last year, were celebrating their topping of the national country airplay chart. The success they’re seeing right now with their first record is a massive testament to their hard work, tenacity, and skills as musicians.
But what about the journey that got them here? It’s impossible to say that their road to success was nothing but smooth sailing, rather, their journey featured more roadblocks than Lego on the freeway, yet they overcame it all to become one of the most exciting young country acts on the scene.
With The Buckleys’ debut album, Daydream, officially out now, the group have weighed in about their career to date, how they managed to thrive as young artists in the genre of country music, and how they managed to overcome obstacles in order to spread their wings and become artists simply pursuing their dreams for the love of music.
“For the love of music!” – The Buckleys on finding success as young country artists
We’re in a wildly exciting place right now, releasing our debut album for all of the world to hear. It’s a daydream come true.
To see the response we’ve gotten from this album is absolutely incredible and so heartwarming. It’s funny, some of the best comments and reviews we’ve read about this album are about the ‘diversity’ of the songs, or the fact that we wrote all the songs, or even about the live band feel, real instruments, musicians, etc.
What’s even funnier, is that all those things this album has been commended for most are the exact things that, in the years of us discovering, finding and pushing our sound, a lot of people told us we should be doing the exact opposite of.
“Stay in your lane, do what the radio is playing right now.”
“Experiment later after you’ve had success.”
“We have the technology, just track it all digitally – why use actual musicians and a band?”
Somehow in all our stubbornness and following our gut (whatever you want to call it!), we eventually ended up surrounded by people who believe in and are passionate about the same things we are and who not only enabled us to bring this vision to life but encouraged us to embrace all the things that make us who we are as artists and songwriters. We were able to pour it all into this album.
Check out ‘Breathe’ by The Buckleys:
‘Navigating the music industry’ is a funny thing, especially as young people still figuring out how to navigate the world (let alone, still can’t navigate where we parked our car in a shopping centre parking lot!). We’re learning so much everyday, but one thing we’d all agree on is that every time we’ve followed our gut it’s always led us to the right place.
So taking it back to the very beginning, it all begins with the love of music.
Absorbing it. Listening to it. Then playing it. Learning it. Writing it. Eventually, the vision sets in.
From learning how to play ‘Jolene’ to writing a song and wanting people to hear that song – what do people think of my song? There are a lot of other opinions that start developing around you – whether it’s family, friends or a punter at the pub.
Back then, almost a decade ago when we first started, here in our hometown it seemed like we were the only ones who listened to country music or even knew what it was. A lot has changed since then!
Nashville was somewhere we always knew we were going. It was this other world we had been watching on our TV and listening to the music and songs coming from there all through our childhood. We would do our annual family road trip to the Tamworth Country Music Festival and we looked forward to those two weeks all year long: two weeks of nothing but music, guitars, songwriters, connecting with people who were into the same thing we were! And then at the end of the festival, it was back to school where we were like aliens again.
We knew when people said the classic “I don’t like country music,” a lot of the time, they didn’t actually know what country music was and all of the different things that fall under that term.
From Carrie Underwood to Kasey Chambers, Zac Brown Band to the Eagles, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban etc. there really is something for everyone under this big, beautiful umbrella we call ‘Country Music’.
Check out ‘Money’ by The Buckleys:
At the core of it all, it’s great songs and storytelling that connects with people. It’s real. That truth and authenticity is the foundation of what we built this entire album around. If we go a little left of centre, bring in some funky grooves, let Lachlan roar on his guitar and just go for it – as long as it’s real and it’s us, that’s the ‘vision’. Following ‘our’ truth is probably the biggest lesson country music has taught us.
It has been amazing to witness and be a part of the current evolution of country music as it is growing so rapidly, as well as the evolution of music in general. Lines are being blurred because artists are finding new ways to tell their stories, experiment and feed all of the things that make them who they are into their music. They’re also rediscovering and reviving all those things that today’s music is built on. Our ‘roots’.
Audiences are not listening to only one kind of music either, they’re reaching out and listening to whatever it is that connects with them and makes them feel good. We’ve discovered so much great music from all around the world in the past few years, which we love.
Whether you live in outback Australia, New York City, Nashville, India, Sweden, Sydney or Byron Bay – wherever it is – we may not be living the same stories but we all feel the same things and go through the same emotions. Love, pain, joy, heartache etc.
Great songwriters know how to bleed those feelings into a song and that’s why we fell in love with music in the first place. It’s about the ‘soul’. It’s about the love of music!