Welcome back to Blak List, your monthly journey through the vibrant world of Blak music and the Blak Loud playlist by Amazon Music!
In this edition, we’re excited to shine a spotlight on Busby Marou’s latest offering, the album “Blood Red’ as I did a full album listen (multiple times) and dove deep into the tracks. So, let’s dive right in and explore.
Busby Marou, the acclaimed First Nations folk duo comprising Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou, have always had a unique ability to capture the essence of regional Australia in their music. With “Blood Red,” they take their storytelling prowess to new heights. This album serves as a heartfelt tribute to country living in regional Australia, encapsulating the challenges and triumphs of life in these often-unforgiving landscapes.
Their fifth studio album, one of the most striking aspects of “Blood Red” is the duo’s departure from their earlier folk sound, venturing further into the country genre. This shift in musical direction adds a layer of authenticity to their storytelling, allowing them to convey the complexities of their subject matter with a rich and resonant sonic palette. I would not describe myself as a lover of country music but I could picture myself sitting on a back porch looking out over a field listening to the boys play and tell me these stories.
The album explores themes that are deeply rooted in the Australian experience – droughts, floods, bushfires, and the mental and physical toll that these natural disasters can bring. Busby Marou’s ability to weave these stories into their music is nothing short of mesmerizing. They have a knack for making the listener not only hear but also feel the emotions that permeate their songs. Listening through for the second time I found myself lingering over the track ‘Crying’, which for me really embodies the physicality of how tough this land can be, the dissonance of wanting to cry during a time of drought is something I can really feel. I remember the drought in the Hunter Valley a few years back and watching the trees on our property slowly die one by one as the water table dropped and dropped only for the summer fires to start.
While there are some upbeat tracks on the album I really feel myself resonating with the more somber tracks that maybe end with a hint of hope. On ‘Blood stream’ I found myself singing along to the chorus (trying badly to hit the notes). Blood stream is one of the tracks on the album with guest writers; Tom Eggert and George Sheppard on this particular track. While the whole album is a reflection of the harsh realities of life, Bloodstream is almost like a vignette into a moment in the album. The ending notes drifting nicely into the next track that is incredibly uplifting.
‘Where I Wanna Be’ is a song with a big heart. It celebrates calling somewhere home and embodies that feeling. It’s an upbeat track that is nicely placed in the album alongside another in ‘Conversation’ as a moment of vibe before we delve back into heavier material. The call and response moment in the climax of ‘Where I Wanna Be’ track is a standout for me.
Two tracks I really want to highlight for the storytelling prowess on display by Busby Marou are ‘Surrender’ and ‘Someone’. On ‘Surrender’ we’re thrown back into the more old school stylings of the duo almost to their self titled debut, which I first remember listening to with my older sister.
In ‘Someone’ they really go into a realm of country that I love, sitting more in the classic country era style. I’m definitely feeling some Tom Petty vibes on this one. The two collaborated with Darius Rucker out of his home in Charleston, South Carolina and the track speaks that. What an incredible piece of new work for their catalog.
The whole album really sings as an ode to the resilience and spirit of the people who call these regions home. It’s a testament to Busby Marou’s songwriting prowess that they can tackle such weighty subjects with grace and empathy.
As a listener, it’s impossible not to be moved by tracks like “Low” and “Crying” The songs on this album are not just about the land; they’re about the people who inhabit it and their enduring connection to their ancestral home.
One thing is certain – “Blood Red” is a significant addition to Busby Marou’s repertoire. It showcases their growth as artists and their unwavering commitment to telling stories that matter.
Full Track List
- Crazy Like That
- Blood Stream
- Where I Wanna Be
- Smile From A Stranger
- Long Way Round
- Everything Is Beautiful
As we eagerly anticipate our next deep dive album we invite you to immerse yourself in the captivating tracks on the Blak Loud playlist. Our next update will come through early next month and we’re excited to share it with you. Stay tuned for more insights into this musical masterpiece and more exciting Blak music discoveries. Until next time, stay Blak and keep groovin’! And as always, let the music guide your soul.
Listen to the full playlist here