Busby Marou re­turn to sink more hooks

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - THE GROOVE - Daniel John­son

BUSBY Marou’s lat­est al­bum is a re­turn to the Queens­land duo’s roots in more ways than one

It has been more than three years since Busby Marou’s sec­ond al­bum Farewell Fitzroy de­buted at No. 5 on the ARIA charts, and in that time much has changed for the folk-pop duo com­pris­ing singer-song­writer Thomas Busby and multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist Jeremy Marou.

If the pre­vi­ous al­bum bade a fond farewell to their orig­i­nal home town of Rock­hamp­ton, through which the mighty Fitzroy River flows, then the name of their new al­bum – Post­cards From the Shell House – sig­ni­fies a re­turn to their roots.

The “Shell House” of the al­bum’s ti­tle is a res­i­dence on Great Kep­pel Is­land – off the coast of Yep­poon, in Cen­tral Queens­land – where the pair spent many week­ends dur­ing their for­ma­tive years.

The Shell House is owned by Mar­garet Gearin and her part­ner Robert Zerner, who the pair have known for more than a decade.

Al­though the band have pre­vi­ously recorded in places as far-flung as Nashville, Marou, who still re­sides in Rock­hamp­ton when the pair are not tour­ing, says a large part of the ap­peal of writ­ing and record­ing on Great Kep­pel was the prox­im­ity to friends and fam­ily.

“We did go to Mel­bourne for a cou­ple of weeks to record stuff that needed to be recorded in a stu­dio but there was some­thing about be­ing close to home,” he says.

“Our fam­i­lies live just across the bay there and at the mo­ment fam­ily’s prob­a­bly the key fac­tor of where we’re at in our lives.”

Lat­est sin­gle Best Part of Me, which opens the al­bum, has al­ready been added to ra­dio sta­tions around the coun­try and with its har­mony­driven cho­rus, per­cus­sive claps and melodic hooks, it looks well on its way to repli­cat­ing the suc­cess of Days of Gold, which was named Blues and Roots Song of the Year at last year’s APRA (Aus­tralian Per­form­ing Right As­so­ci­a­tion) Mu­sic Awards.

“We’ve al­ways had a nat­u­ral way of load­ing the songs full of hooks and to me that’s purely based on Jeremy’s har­monies,” Busby says.

“He’s got that is­lan­der kind of vibe and al­though he’s a gun gui­tarist I al­ways thought the hooks and the songs were al­ways based on that harmony hook line and know­ing where to put it in or pull it out.”

Al­though it might seem like a long time be­tween re­leases from the out­side, Busby in­sists he and Marou have “felt ready for a cou­ple of years”.

“We prob­a­bly wrote most of the songs two years ago,” he says.

“But we’re signed to a record com­pany and there’s a lot of hoops we have to jump through. At the same time, if we didn’t have those de­lays we prob­a­bly wouldn’t have an al­bum as good as this be­cause we con­tin­ued to keep writ­ing bet­ter songs as the process went on.”

“It does come easy writ­ing with Jeremy,” Busby adds. “When I’m writ­ing at home on my own, I can’t re­ally make sense of the song yet. I don’t know if it’s a good song un­til I’m play­ing with Jeremy and some­thing just clicks.”

Pic­ture: RUS­SELL SHAKE­SPEARE

Mu­si­cians Jeremy Marou and James Busby

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