From Byron Bay to Nashville, The Buckleys are breathing new life into the Australian country music scene. Taking the best of a genre-diverse upbringing, the sibling trio have cultivated their own self-coined brand of ‘Hippie Country‘. Their debut album Daydream is a bright collection of country tracks that draws upon elements of roots, pop, indie and Americana. With a refreshing and upbeat outlook, The Buckleys are playing with nostalgia, romance, and irresistible grooves to carve a niche that has even the most unsuspecting of country naysayers and newbies catching on. We had a chat with Sarah (20), Lachlan (19) and Molly (17) about their album, the country music scene, and recording in Nashville under the guidance of Grammy Award-winning producer, Chad Carlson.
LIKE VELVET MUSIC: Hi Sarah, Lachlan and Molly – thanks for taking the time to chat to us! Congratulations on the release of Daydream! We love seeing country music pushing its way into the mainstream. What does it feel like to be pushing the barriers and breaking the mould as young country artists in Australia?
SARAH: For us, it’s all about just playing and creating music that we love. We don’t think too much about what category our music is going to fit into and all that, because music is always changing and it’s supposed to change and evolve and grow so if we chased one particular thing that’s popular right now or just created what someone else wanted us to – it wouldn’t be real. I don’t think people would be connecting with it in the same way people are now either. All our favourite artists and bands are one’s who were just authentic and true, doing something different and fresh. It’s exciting to see Country Music grow so rapidly all over the world and more and more people falling in love with it. The genre has so much to offer and as artists are finding new ways to bring all of the things that make them unique / the things they’ve been influenced by and their own stories to the table.
Your album seems to have tapped into that elusive niche of country music that convert the unconvertable. How do you see the connection with country music here in Australia compared to the US and what would love to see change here?
MOLLY: Watching country music evolve and grow in Australia and the US has been really exciting. I’m excited to see what’s next… genres are constantly being challenged and pushed which I think is so important for growth and it keeps us all on our toes (which I love).
Across the tracks in Daydream, we can hear so many other musical influences coming through – what inspiration do you draw from to find your own brand of ‘hippie country’?
LACHLAN: Growing up we listened to so many different bands/artists such as Joe Cocker, Patsy Cline, Thin Lizzy, Keith Urban, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Blues Brothers and many more from every genre. Through the years we’ve all gone through certain fazes, for instance Molly could be listening to Harry Styles, Sarah might be digging Kasey Musgraves and Joni Mitchell and I may be in a psychedelic rock faze. Even if we’re listening to completely opposite things we all manage to come together and create something we love – that is how I think we inspire each other and create our own brand of “Hippie Country” .
Creating an album in Nashville is such a bucket list dream! What was the most surprising part of the experience?
SARAH: It is such a dream come true to record an album in Nashville! I still can hardly believe it. I remember all through primary school and high school going to the music rooms at lunch time and writing songs by myself, dreaming of being in Nashville and a part of that creative community, let alone recording a whole 12 track album in Music City alongside people who were a part of projects and music that inspired me to be a songwriter and artist in the first place! The most surprising part would probably be just how Nashville has this natural, magical momentum and energy in the air. There’s so much creativity all around you, all the time. How we met our producer, Chad Carlson, for example – he’s the neighbour of one of my best friends in Nashville and as we were talking one day she just mentioned her neighbour’s a producer and we should go talk and write with him. I walk in and there’s two GRAMMY’s casually on the shelf and Taylor Swift plaques on the wall for millions of albums sold – what are the chances of that?! And here we are having recorded a whole album with Chad – my friend’s neighbour – and he’s basically family now!
Chad Carlson has worked with some of the biggest internationally acclaimed country musicians in the US. How did you connect with him and how did working with him influence you as musicians?
MOLLY: Well Sarah actually initially met Chad through our mutual friend/ amazing songwriter Melissa Fuller. We feel so honoured to be able to work with someone like Chad who has such a repertoire and list of accomplishments! He has so much amazing knowledge about music so I’m constantly learning and gaining knowledge as a musician.
Moving through from your teenage years playing and writing songs together – how do three siblings keep it so harmoniously together?
LACHLAN: Growing up and playing music together through the years in a small household has a funny way of making it a pretty normal thing to do in our lives. We definitely have various coping mechanisms when it comes to “beef” between us which honestly never lasts longer than 2 hrs hahaha. However at the end of the day I think it just comes down to our dads philosophy which is to always be HAPPY! And that food fixes everything.
Releasing an album in the middle of pandemic must be incredibly strange, especially when you have such a large audience over in the US. Can you tell us a bit about that journey and how you’ve stayed in touch with your fans in that time?
SARAH: It’s definitely different! But we’ve just tried to remain with a positive and productive attitude. Right now is when people need music, art and entertainment the most – including us. We decided not to press pause on anything but rather, kick up our creativity and productivity another 10 levels! Finding new ways to connect. We went on the first ever World Virtual Tour with Live Nation which was incredible and ended up having a global reach of over 4.5 million people in all corners of the world. We also released a documentary, some singles and now our very first album! We’ve been able to stay connected and reach even more people than we expected thanks to social media and the technology we have available. We definitely cannot wait to get out and start travelling, meeting people and playing shows again, but in the meantime, everything has been a learning experience and we’re so glad we could bring people together virtually with some laughter, smiles and music during this time.
And jumping back to music bucket lists, if you could put on the best country music show, who would your top 5 acts be?
LACHLAN: My top 5 would have to be Kasey Musgraves, The Grateful Dead, Keith Urban, Shania Twain and Crosby Stills Nash and Young. This is a line up I would die to see!
What comes next (when the world opens up)?
MOLLY: We can’t wait to get out on the road and share our music with people around the world! A couple weeks ago we played our first live show in a long time in Far North QLD and it was just such an amazing feeling to be back out there. We can’t wait to tour Australia in February next year with the Country Roadshow alongside so many great artists. It will be a lot of fun! And there’s more in between then too so stay tuned.
QUICK FIRE ON DAYDREAM
The songs that are the most Byron Bay-influenced vs. the most Nashville-influenced:
MOLLY: Ooo cool question! I’d say the most Nashville influenced song would be Wild Honey and most Byron Bay is Crazy Like You.
The song you’d tell a brand new listener to start with:
SARAH: Probably Daydream. It was our very first single and I guess the first impression must have worked because we’re here talking to you now! haha
The song you’d give someone for a big mood boost:
LACHLAN: I would say my favourite song to boost someone’s Mood would have to be Vibe ,This is a funky jam that just makes you want to groove out, channel your inner James Brown and just vibe!
The song you can’t wait to play live:
LACHLAN: For me I think it would have to be Crazy Like You, The rhythm and the power you can unleash is what makes it such a fun song to play. I think that as soon as you feel that groove you can’t help but boogie.
Your favourite track and why:
MOLLY: I love each and every song, there’s something in each track that makes me love it, whether it’s the words, hook, melody, harmonies etc… for example Wild Honey is such a fun harmony song which is why I personally love it and Crazy Like You has so much spunk and attitude to it, I can listen to it over and over and never get sick of it!