Port Macquarie three-piece Barrel House are preparing to release their long awaited debut album ‘Species Vagabond’. Recorded at Oasis Studios on the Gold Coast, it marks the full gestation of a band that burst onto the national stage in late 2008.
The story kicks off after Barrel House sent a self confessed “crappy demo” into triple J. Roots n All started spinning it and within weeks the band was handpicked by the station as their ‘unearthed’ act to open the main stage of Coffs Harbour’s Open Arms Festival ( w’Grinspoon, Gyroscope, Mammal, TZU and many more).
Strong Triple J airplay around the unearthed win sent them to the top of the Triple J Unearthed ‘roots’ charts which, combined with a swift rising reputation on the North Coast live scene, led straight into a slots at Festival Of The Sun (Port Macquarie) and the East Coast Blues n Roots festival (Byron Bay).
Alongside festival appearances Barrel House have maintained a fierce touring schedule ever since. One of the hardest working bands in the country, from east coast to west the last two years has seen them play over 250 shows. It’s this dedication to the road that has seen their star continue to rise, with supports clocked up for the likes of Ani Defranco, Blue King Brown, Jeff Lang, Mama Kin and Ash Grunwald to name but a few.
The ever increasing attention also saw the band sign with management company ‘Cross Section’, run by co directors Scott Mesiti (Festival Of The Sun) and Ted Gardiner (manager of The Brian Jonestown Massacre).
It’s with this building momentum that Barrel House come to the release of their debut album ‘Species Vagabond’, a collection of songs crafted and honed on the road, as explains front-man Dwaine Cameron: “We like to test out our songs on a crowd before recording them, so we would just play them at shows, not say anything about it being a new song and quite often after the song was over, we would just keep jamming and run it out. A lot of those jams made it onto the album as outros.
The boys and I wanted to try to create an album that was about dynamics. So building on the foot stomping sound that we had, we started to incorporate some electronics and everything from fast finger picking dobro, animal noises, hooting and hollering, slow heavy bass drops, lots of reverb to some synth (I now have to strap a little synth pad to my lap slide playing live).
All in all – ‘Species Vagabond’ just covers all of the usual topics really; lost love, lust, hopelessness, travelling, sticking it to the man and not having enough money.”