Busby Marou took some life-experience back to their roots for their third album, Postcards From The Shell House.
Thom Busby and Jeremy Marou took their time over the creation of their third album, the recently released Postcards From The Shellhouse, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA National Chart.
“More so with the songwriting,” Marou clarifies. “The recording was about a month but over the previous year-and-a-half we wrote the songs and demoed as we went. The process was entirely different and the way we’ve done it this time has made it all just a bit more mature, just in terms of trying to perfect it.”
Postcards From The Shell House was recorded with producer, Jon Hume (Evermore), at The Stables studios in Gisbourne, Victoria as well as some important sessions on Great Keppel Island. Essentially, the pair were going back to their roots with some hard-earned experience.
“Absolutely,” says Marou. “For the songwriting side of it and just where we are in our lives now as well; we’re both married and got kids now.
“Everything about where we’re at in life is in the new album. The way we set out to write it… it all kind of makes sense. The relaxed vibe; we didn’t need to go overseas - this time we wanted to stay in our hometown. We wanted to do it here and be close to our family and friends. That’s what we’ve tried to capture.”
Creating music closer to (and at) home brought the pair back to the things in life you can’t bottle. Even so, with the experience of two albums behind them, they had the confidence to open up to new approaches.
“That’s 100 per cent true. Even with the co-writing. We’ve co-written with other artists on this album,” Marou says of Alex Hope (Broods, Troye Sivan) and long-time John Mayer guitarist, David Ryan Harris.
“If 10 years ago you’d put that to me I would have said, ‘nah, we don’t need that. We know what we’re doing’. Now we have a maturity level to say, ‘hey let’s get out there and learn as much as we can from other people’. It’s broadened our horizons and created another thing for which we have to offer to this album. As I say, we wouldn’t have done that as young fellas.”
The Shell House itself has played a big part in Busby Marou’s history, especially in their early years. The heritage-listed building is on Great Keppel Island off the coast of Rockhampton, where they were born and raised. It was again the birthplace of a number of songs on the new album.
“The Shell House on Great Keppel Island is one of the most amazing places in the world,” Marou says proudly. “The water’s so beautiful. You can jump in pods and drive up to different sand dunes and… look out. It’s in our backyard!
“We always wanted to do something there, but didn’t get to do it. But we’re at the stage now where we could say, ‘you know what? Let’s push for it’. We wrote songs there and recorded some as well. We just went back there recently to do the filmclips. We recorded them live because we wanted the fans to get the vibe of what the album is about. They can hear the studio versions then check the clips where we do them acoustically live, so they can understand the feel of the album.”
Hume, for his part, was attuned to the well-produced-yet-natural aesthetic that was required.
“Once he knew what we were chasing, he was able to just capture it,” Marou says of their friend and producer.
A new album means more adventures ahead for Busby Marou, as they tour in support of the release as far as it will take them. The journey continues as it has run, the pair in cahoots as friends, foils and creative partners.
“We’ve definitely grown,” Marou says. “I think it’s also down to the fact that we’re good mates outside of music as well – even before we played music we were friends. You see bands that can’t stand each other, well we’ve never had that problem and I think that’s due to us being good friends on and off the stage. Outside of music we’ll go fishing together and not even talk about a tour or songs or music whatsoever. Some musos, that’s all they talk about; that’s their life, that’s all they do.
“I’m Tom’s biggest fan when it comes to his songwriting. I think he’s an absolute genus the way he puts words together. I love watching him write songs and I trust him. He’ got a big picture and it’s kind of my job to put that picture together put the music to it all (Marou plays a hood majority of instruments on this album).
“But overall, it’s definitely about that friendship on and off the stage.”
Postcards From The Shell House is out now through Warner Music.