Gretta Ziller has dropped the title track from her forthcoming and much-anticipated debut album, Queen of Boomtown, out through independent record label, Social Family Records on 1 September and available to pre-order now. Ziller will launch the album in Melbourne on 31 August, with shows in Sydney, Newcastle and Tamworth to follow in early September.
A radiant tune, Queen of Boomtown paints a picture of isolation, standing tall in a metaphorically abandoned town, and although the album title may appear to be big-noting, one listen to the title track brings the self-deprecating context to the surface.
“Picking this song as the title was tough for me because at first glance it may come across as me thinking I’m the ‘top of the pile’,” Ziller explains. “But, in fact, the song is the opposite. I guess that’s what I wanted my album to sound like…people may think it’s going to be like my EP – maybe more country – but it’s not. First impressions aren’t always right.”
Ziller brought together an impressive array of musicians to perform on the album, the recordings featuring members of Saskwatch, The Cat Empire, and the bands of Angus & Julia Stone, Passenger and Dan Sultan. Accomplished songwriter Jen Mize provides backing vocals while Henry Wagons appears as a guest on Round and Round.
Recorded at Woodstock Studios, Balaclava, Queen of Boomtown was produced by New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Paul Ruske. “Working with Paul was the most amazing experience,” Ziller recalls. “Not only is he such a beautiful person and talented musician, but he understood me and what I wanted with this record.”
Ziller and Ruske’s combined desire to break the country mould paid off. There’s certainly some classic country influence in the gorgeous production of Jude and Go On, but that vanishes quickly on the rock stomper Let It Go or the sparse, aching piano ballad This is Gonna Hurtand the sultry Whiskey Shivers. Written over an almost six-year period, this collection covers vast emotional territory.
No matter the mood, Ziller demonstrates an assured sense of melody, building on the promise of ear-catching 2014 EP Hell’s Half Acre. Round and Round feels like an instant classic, echoing of the great duets from Cash and Carter to Cave and Harvey.
For Ziller, the songs are often inspired by emotions rather than common trials and autobiographical tribulations. “I approach my songwriting a little bit like a bower bird,” the songwriter explains. “I am a collector of ideas and thoughts. The Notes app in my phone is full of one liners and song ideas. I don’t write specifically about every day stuff in my life, I tend to take an idea or emotion about something that is relevant or emotionally attractive to me and roll with it.”
Queen of Boomtown is threaded with a gentle fatalism, each song conveying an acceptance of the way things are and an openness to shifting circumstance. “I draw on the emotion of needing change a lot when I write, I’m a person that likes and craves change,” Ziller explains. “‘Let It Go’ is about being who you are in the moment and not holding onto worries, ‘Slaughterhouse Blues’ is all about wanting something different, ‘Alright With Me’ is about accepting that someone loves you for how wonderfully imperfect you are, and ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’ is about the pain and regret of a breakup.”
QUEEN OF BOOMTOWN
01 Slaughterhouse Blues
02 Go On
03 Queen of Boomtown
04 Whiskey Shivers
05 This Is Gonna Hurt
06 Alright With Me
07 Let It Go
08 Round and Round
10 I Don’t Ever Want To Say Goodbye
*** Album out 1 September ***
*** Available to pre-order now ***
Any pre-orders via iTunes receive the title track and Gretta’s previous single, Slaughterhouse Blues, instantly. For CD pre-orders via Sanity and JB Hi-Fi, fans will receive a signed album slick and any pre-orders via the SFR Store will receive a signed album slick, the two singles instantly, as well as a full digital download of the album on release day.
Pre-orders via the SFR Store also receive a chance to win a Gretsch acoustic guitar signed by Gretta Ziller (to be eligible, simply pre-order and submit your answer, via the special email address provided, in 25 words or less telling us why you should be the new owner of this gorgeous Gretsch guitar. The winner will be announced on 1 September).
Pre-order via your chosen retailer
(iTunes, Sanity, JB HiFi, Official Store = SFR Store)
via the below link:
ALBUM LAUNCH DATES
GRETTA ZILLER “QUEEN OF BOOMTOWN”
MELBOURNE ALBUM LAUNCH
Thursday, 31 August | Croxton Front Bar, Thornbury | $15 + BF
Ticket link: http://smarturl.it/GZ-Melbourne-Show
SYDNEY ALBUM LAUNCH
Thursday, 7 September | “Whiskey Jam”, Rooty Hill RSL | Free show
NEWCASTLE ALBUM LAUNCH
Friday, 8 September | Sunset Studio, Sandgate | $15 or $20 on the door
Ticket link: http://smarturl.it/GZ-Newcastle-Show
TAMWORTH ALBUM LAUNCH
Saturday, 9 September | Sider Diner Sessions, City Sider CBD Motel | $15 or $20 on the door
Ticket link: http://smarturl.it/GZ-Tamworth-Show
“One thing stands out clearly across Queen of Boomtown’s vital span: Ziller is an astute chronicler of experience. That she is uniquely able to translate her observations of the human condition into captivating vocal performance cements the album as one of the most uniquely penetrating in recent memory.”
– Gareth Hipwell, Country Update