Gareth Leach Pulls The ‘Trigger’ On New Album
Melbourne-based Australian outlaw country singer-songwriter, Gareth Leach, has dropped his hard-hitting album Trigger, landing at #2 on the iTunes Country Albums chart and #4 overall/all-genres.
Self-produced and engineered, Trigger is Gareth’s sophomore album, tackling tough subject matter, with introspective lyrics and a powerful vocal performance met with traditional folk and country instrumentation.
To launch the album, Gareth and his band impressively performed via livestream from separate locations yesterday evening (watch on YouTube here).
“Greetings from Melbourne’s Covid Lockdown! I’m so excited to release this record and honestly can’t express how much it means to me to have this album finally out into the world. It’s a very personal record, full of songs that are close to my heart and touch on topics that I hope resonate with you. Although dark at points, it is essentially a narrative of HOPE…and it’s for you. Big love!”
– Gareth Leach
Featuring ten solid songs, including previous singles, Down the Rabbit Hole, Old Crow Feather, My Crime and his latest tasty track, Honey, Trigger opens with Oh My Devil, which packs the initial opening blow for the album. It’s a song about wanting to manifest and take on your demons in the musical setting of an upbeat minor hoedown. A nod to the late and great Charlie Daniels, the “Devil” is represented in fiery fiddle playing of Australian Bluegrass legend, Hamish Davidson, and sets the pace for the intentional raw and acoustically driven energy of the album.
Second up is Old Crow Feather, a song that broke a little writers block for Leach and is based on the early morning ramblings of his then 4-year-old son about wanting to “go outside and air his bones” – whatever that meant! Leach had the idea of a Native American style chant inspired by the American Football team he supports, the Kansas City Chiefs. It deals with the metaphor of each feather of the old crow being a song waiting to be found or, at times, fought for and paid in money or even blood, figuratively speaking.
Fire in the Hole is next, a fun and lively song written about Leach’s son, Avery. Musically complimented by tremolo 60s electric guitar and fiddle, Leach plants his feet deep into the stylings of a more traditionally structured country song. Just like his son, it’s cheeky and chaotic, yet cute and loveable.
The fourth and fifth tracks are Honey and My Crime (feat. Michaela Jenke), two of Leach’s most successful single releases to date, and they speak for themselves – sweet, tasty and full of swagger and personality.
The title track, Trigger, is a song about the pursuit of every country musician’s side-kick and partner-in-crime and storytelling – their guitar! The carrier of the overall theme of the album, it’s an old-time shuffle that pays tribute to the way of the outlaw and like Willie Nelson and his guitar, Leach’s search for his own “Trigger”.
Down the Rabbit Hole brings us to number 7 of the track list and was the first single sent to radio earlier in 2020, and represents the way children (and society as a whole) have become increasingly and deeply integrated into social media and technology, to the detriment of their mental health.
“At first, I was angry with these kids and couldn’t understand why they were so obsessed with their devices and technology. Then I began to look around and realised that there is so much bad modeling of behavior to these kids from their parents – US!
We grew up with very little education about such things and as a result you see parents and adults with their heads buried in their phones or devices all the time. We’re too busy scrolling through newsfeeds and comparing lives with everyone around them and their projection of “perfect”, “successful” and “happy”, so much so that we are not fully present at our kids footy games, school concerts, dance recitals, and the list goes on. And we’re nearly all guilty of it.” – Gareth Leach
Track 8 was co-written with Gretta Ziller and deals with the issue of domestic abuse. Singin’ Hymns is the story of the effects left behind in poisonous family relationships, the struggles and the yearning to leave and remove yourself from such toxic environments and how hard that can be.
Focus track, Never Been One, brings us towards the conclusion of Trigger the album, and is about the ongoing feelings and issues of being a musician and an attempt at gratitude for what can, at times, be a grueling and thankless vocation, while watching others progress in their personal and professional lives. Playing and making music is something most musicians need to do, and that can be a very difficult conversation to have with others who have certain expectations of what you must “achieve” in life.
The tenth and final track on the album is Black Swamp. Black Swamp is about getting down and dirty and feeding those demons – whatever your vice may be. Originally an upbeat song about sin and guilty pleasures, penned by Gretta Ziller, Black Swamp has been reimagined by Leach to be a gritty and bluesy Neil Young-esque monster featuring harmonica by Andy McClean and a long-time member of Leach’s band, “the Narratives of Hope”, Shane McGrath, for a 3 minute shred-fest outro, perfectly jarring as that final song, leaving the album listener wondering where Leach is going to go next…