Bangin' The Gong

5 February 2014 | 4:29 pm | Cam Findlay

"I think what we’re trying to do [with the new album] is expand the parameters of this sound that we’ve already carved out for ourselves."

Three years ago, Melbourne neo-soul outfit Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes put out their debut album, Baby Caught The Bus. This is probably not news to most of you. That album broke the band on both the national and international level, and started off what would be a love affair with their powerful, enigmatic music here and abroad. The album has since been released in Japan and the US, with last year's Love Letter Tour marking three years of solid touring. As such, you couldn't blame Browne and the other eight members of the band for being sick of performing the songs. But a staggered US release does grant a sense of refreshment and perspective bands usually wouldn't see.

“It was just a matter of timing,” Browne says of the US release last year and the subsequent tour. “It was interesting as a band, because you're touring the same stuff that you've already been playing for quite a while, and so used to playing it. In that situation, you're trying to find fresh legs for it. And it's being looked at and appreciated through a whole new set of eyes. It's interesting, I think, to reflect on the music you've made, and it's a good thing when you're beginning to create new music as well. It's good to have that perspective.”

The new music she mentions is the long-awaited second album, set to be released sometime soon this year. It'll obviously come from a whole different place than Baby Caught The Bus, as the group have found themselves in an entirely different dynamic over the last few years, but it'll still be built out of that resounding heart and soul that has led to Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes being so respected.

“I think the whole experience has led us to have a much clearer understanding, and much more respect, of how we make music when we go into a studio. I think what we're trying to do [with the new album] is expand the parameters of this sound that we've already carved out for ourselves. I think the sound that we have is really unique and we really own it now, if you know what I mean. I think it's universal and people can connect to it, and I think that's part of why we've been so successful. We knew we wanted to keep that with this album, and not change the formula too much. But I think we are listening to a lot of different types of music as well, and trying to explore the parameters and push the limitations a bit and see where we can take it.”

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The good news is, for anyone who's seen a Clairy Browne & The Bangin Rackettes show, that character is still there. “We're still doing all the dance moves and stuff in the studio,” Browne assures. “It wouldn't feel natural if we weren't going through all the movements in the studio as well as live.”