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Monique Brumby is on the road...
With a brand new album, Skeletons' Polka,
out on the shelves, the solo artist has assem-
bled a band and hit the pubs and clubs of regional
Australia to tout her wares, and so far things are go-
ing swimmingly. ere have been few hiccups onstage
and backstage shenanigans have been kept to a mini-
mum -- although there has been an incident involving
a Christmas tree and a Lady GaGa impersonation...
but enough about that -- as they say in the biz, what
goes on tour, stays on tour.
It's been four years since Brumby released her third
album, Into the Blue, and the singer has been far from
idle in the interim, donning a producer's hat for Emily
Davies' debut album, producing Melbourne act Mo-
saik's rst release, as well as touring with the likes of
retro rockers e Bangles and acting as mentor for a
number of young musos through e Push program.
Still, Brumby managed to nd time to write a slew of
new tracks as well as pull together the funds to record
the self-released album.
Armed with the help of legendary producer Mark
Opitz (Divinyls, Paul Kelly, Cold Chisel, INXS),
Brumby hit the studio and the results speak for them-
selves with rst single, ' ey're Still Alive', slowly
mounting the charts. Brumby says bringing Opitz
into the equation "took the pressure o ."
"I gave him the power of choosing the songs that
he liked. I think sometimes as the writer you can get a
little too caught up in songs that may not be as strong
as others 'cause you have an emotional attachment to
them. ey may not resonate. Having Mark make the
selection took that pressure away."
Monique entered the studio with 25 tracks which
Opitz gradually whittled down to 11.
" e band kind of had their moments of 'how come
we're not doing that song?' Or 'why are we doing this
song ?' But we had to trust Mark and it's worked out
really well 'cause the songs are getting a really positive
response and people seem to relate to them... ere's a
good mix of tracks, from some broody ballads which I
love writing to the uptempo pop rock songs."
Like past albums, Brumby has drawn on life ex-
perience for many of the tracks. e opening track
'Small Town' is about my relationship with growing
up in Tasmania," she says. "'Anchor' is... well... I feel
like now I'm in that time of my life where I can give
strength to people in my life 'cause I'm in a good
place." She sings: 'When you're out there lost at sea
I'll anchor you...'
"I'm very connected to the ocean," muses Mo-
nique. "Coming from a place like Tasmania where
you're surrounded by ocean... A lot of Tasmanians
have that strong connection. I remember I used
to go out shing with my grandfather when I was
young...." she trails o .
Tapping into those childhood memories are key
to the singer-songwriter's creative process... "I have an
almost a c
ity," she sa
So when I
it -- I'll pic
" ere's a
A friend o
that just p
to draw fr
do that in
sis was on
-- I think
I draw fro
you are in
it's like to
den, you k
to feel di
ality and h
to know th
thing I'm p
and I think
of those t
Monique Brumby strips things back with her n
By Cec Busby.
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