Years removed from the familial Dead Ringer Band, Australian singer Kasey Chambers came to most people's attention with "The Captain," the title track from her 2000 debut album and a song heard on the
Years removed from the familial Dead Ringer Band, Australian singer Kasey Chambers came to most people's attention with "The Captain," the title track from her 2000 debut album and a song heard on the HBO series "The Sopranos."
Often compared to those she grew up listening to –- Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle –- Chambers released her sophomore album, "Barricades & Brickwalls," in 2002. Although well received, Chambers made bigger headlines for collapsing during a February 2002 show in San Francisco while pregnant.
Now with a two-year old son named Talon, whose name was apparently inspired by folk singer Fred Eaglesmith, Chambers is back with "Wayward Angel," an album that immediately sounds livelier and more cohesive than her last.
"We did it all in one hit," Chambers says down the line from Australia. "When I made 'Barricades' I was kind of in the middle of touring and it was really hard to just concentrate on making an album. We'd go to the studio to record a few songs, then go to the States and do a tour and then come back and do a few more. With this one we went into the studio and pretty much played the whole thing live. I felt really good afterwards, I felt like it was a full project."
"I never think too much about writing," she continues. "If a line comes out and it doesn't seem to make much sense, I think it was meant to be there anyway. But this one I had moments of, 'Oh is this song good enough because it's for my son and he's the most important person in my life? I really can't mess this up.'"
Chambers recorded 17 songs for the album, of which 14 made the cut. She actually envisioned paring it down to 12, since most of her favorite albums contain that amount of songs, but realized she couldn't part with any of them. The end result is an album that has several gems, including a departure for her on the tender piano-driven tear-jerker "Paper Aeroplane."
"I was watching television one night and there was an interview with an old man who had lost his wife to cancer," she says. "It was just a really beautiful story in the way he told it and remembered her. It was just moving enough for me to sit down and write that song."
As well, Chambers also co-wrote three songs with boyfriend Cori Hopper, including "Follow You Home" and "Guilty As Sin."
"We just ended up writing songs out of boredom," she says of the collaboration. "I don't co-write with people a lot. Writing for me is like a little bit of therapy. I find that's as honest as I get with myself and it's hard to be that honest with somebody else in the room. It's a really intimidating thing to do."
One critic who has been tough to win over, however, is Talon himself. "He hates me singing to him -- it really sucks!," Chambers says with a laugh. "I have high hopes for my son being a musician but he has this little guitar that he hasn't touched once. When I begin singing he puts his hand over my mouth, so I don't think there's much hope at this point. He likes it if I sing 'Bob The Builder' or 'The Wiggles' but not much else other than that."