As an artist caught between two continents – her Canadian homeland and her now permanent Australian residency – Tracy McNeil’s brand new album Nobody Ever Leaves is a fresh new sound that infuses North American roots with the heart and grit of Melbourne’s thriving alt.country scene. Add to this the pop-soaked splendor of 1970’s West-Coast California, and you’ll be coasting the musical landscape that McNeil calls home on her latest release.
McNeil made her introduction to the Melbourne music scene in 2008 when she teamed up with nationally acclaimed singer songwriter Jordie Lane to form the highly successful alt.country/folk duo Fireside Bellows. Their first and only LP release, No Time To Die received rave reviews across the country and remains one of Australia’s most sought after independent releases.
After going their separate ways to pursue solo careers, Tracy followed up No Time To Die with successful sophomore album Fire From Burning in 2011. This cemented her reputation as a respected and formidable force on the alt.country circuit, and saw her go on to support international artists such as Old Crow Medicine Show / Eilen Jewell / Mary Gautheir / Tony Joe White / Great Big Sea and local sweethearts The Audreys, among others.
Since then, some unavoidable ramblings in the key of life – car accidents, hospitals, immigration red-tape, the day to day highs and lows of working and making music, and a band that was teetering on the edge of collapse – have seen some line-up changes to her now five-piece band, ironically dubbed The GoodLife. – These challenges have inevitably shaped the sound of the new album, which is a sonic leap from McNeil’s previous works in terms of style and production. There’s a gritty, road-worn pop sensibility to these songs that wasn’t so apparent on previous releases. As always, McNeil navigates the listener through an undulating musical landscape that captures the imagination, defies time and place and speaks directly to the heart – And that will soon see her take to the road with a fresh and inspired outlook on her musical future, and the life of this brand new release.
The album was recorded in 2013 by Steve Frasier at Little Gold Studios in Brunswick Vic. with The GoodLife; featuring Bree Hartley on drums, Matt Green (Simone Felice/Jordie Lane) on lead guitar, Rod Boothroyd on bass and Luke Sinclair (Raised By Eagles) on guitar. Special guests include Brendan McMahon (Saint Jude) on keys and Ted Kazan (Melbourne Ska Orchestra) on trumpet.
Produced by Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife. Mixed by Shane O’Mara at Yikesville and mastered by Ross Cockle at Sing Sing, Melbourne.