Track x Track: Lonesome Dove - SUCKED IN

Track x Track: Lonesome Dove - SUCKED IN

Boorloo/Perth-based four-piece take us through their debut album of fuzzed out alt-rock and indie-pop sounds

After an EP, a couple of singles and playing gigs all around Australia (including sharing stages with the likes of Body Type, The Black Lips, Children Collide and many more), Lonesome Dove have channelled their love of fuzzed out rock, pop and punk styles into their debut album, SUCKED IN.

Heartfelt & authentic, honest & emotional, SUCKED IN features eight melodic and addictive cuts touching on relatable, timeless subject matter including “themes of love, friendship, and personal growth.” With the band embodying a DIY ethos, the album was recorded at their own Pink House Studios, with mixing and mastering courtesy of two legends - Andy Lawson and William Bowden respectively.

With SUCKED IN now out to the world and the band gearing up for a mini three-date W.A. tour to launch the album (dates below), Lonesome Dove frontwoman Nici Ward was kind enough to take us through the album, track by track!

DRIVE

This song is the opening track and I reckon sets the tone for the album. The lyrics are about being infatuated with someone that at the same time causes me much frustration. The thought of driving all night long with them and putting all my thoughts out on the table regardless if that means having a fight and allowing things to get messy seemed enticing.
The monotonous rhythm section from Leo using multiple sticks created a clanging effect and Olga's haunting in-sync BV's helped create that ongoing driving feeling, while the big freak out guitar sections really help halt everything and I guess represent the messiness and excitement that a relationship can entail. We experimented with tempo and a lot of guitar pedal effects, Ben and I demoed the guide guitars on this track together which I really enjoyed, the energy was fun and being part of this kind of musical machine felt really freeing.

SORRY

'Sorry' is a verse for verse duet between Ben and I. I find myself constantly apologising for taking up space, which is something a lot of us do, it's a way that I pre-empt anything I might do wrong before I do it. People pleasing is real guys! I found the vocals on this pretty tricky, trying to find where to push and hold back was challenging. The dynamic between the verses and bridge really help portray the vulnerability of how I feel as opposed to the front I might put on. Sorry is a pretty therapeutic take on being overly self aware and hopefully being able to leave these behaviours behind me in the song. Pity I have to sing it over and over again now, hahaha!

BULLY

'Bully' is a pep talk anthem. It's what everyone's best friend should be screaming to them from the sidelines while you're doing life the best you can. It includes a blistering guitar hero solo by Ben that we all need when we might be questioning ourselves and what we're even doing here. Vocally again, this was a challenge. Why I write these stupid melodies for myself, I do not know! hahaha! A big high chorus where I had to work out whether to shout or sing with a breathy take took ages and many attempts. I lost my confidence at one stage and had to come back to it. Lyrically it was really important for this song to encapsulate the band and camaraderie, something the LD pride themselves on. We're all weird, we're all trying to lift each other up.

SIXTEEN

This song is an excerpt out of my Sixteen year old diary. Being hopelessly in love with a boy. Giving my whole self to someone that wasn't emotionally mature enough to receive it... But also not being emotionally mature enough in myself to give it because I was only 16...Ben plays a guitar line that runs straight through the whole song which kind of creates a bubble for the song to live in. I wanted the song to feel cinematic and shimmery. This was the first time I'd ever played a guitar solo and I was incredibly nervous. Ben and Leo are really good at guiding but not taking over. Ben is a bit of a jackhammer and can come across quite harsh but when I get inside my head like that it's actually really good for him to be like that. It just helps me know what direction to take things in. Leo went for a kind of 90's nostalgic rolling drum beat which really helps set the nostalgic scene. This is late 90's, Suburban house party, rom-com, crying in the street, your world is ending cause he doesn't love you D-R-A-M-A.

SOMETHING DUMB

Ben sent me a bunch of guitar riffs to choose from and this one was the one I ran with. The song is basically about being a brat and  knowing that you're going to fuck things up. People have expectations of you and rather than trying to live up to them you just...don't. You do something dumb and that's ok. Big phat drop D bass stabs give a nod to all things good... and.... drop D... and phat. We recorded the guitars through two amps in stereo for a massive anthemic sound. The guitar line is so strong everything just sits in around it. Leo had to really thump this one which feels so fun to play to. Olga playing in Drop D is a sound to behold. I could feel the joy she got out of it through the floor.

ORDINARY FLOWERS

Accepting that there can be beauty in the mundane, things don't have to be impressive to be romantic and that being ordinary is ok is what this song is about. It's meant to sound sparkly and shine light on the simple basic things that bring us joy. This is the vocal I'm the most proud of on this album. Ben directed me through it and we got it exactly how I wanted. The big loud bridge kind of emphasises that "it's just fine here in the middle" and the continuous "do do do's" take you right back to things being simple and lovely. There's a line about wanting to touch someone's leg but then just going and saying something stupid instead. That's me, that's all my awkward navigation around how to be with other people. I just feel there's so much pressure on us to be "fantastic" constantly which kind of leaves people feeling disappointed as that's pretty unattainable so it's better to just get comfortable in all your awkwardness.

WINDOWS

Windows is the result of Ben's need for a song with a key change and a two day lock in at Pink House Studios where we all just brought out all our most ridiculous ideas. I felt like Ben had this one really mapped out in his head, I'd been asking for weeks about how we were going to do this and he kept it all very mysterious. Including Olga's surprise Saxophone moment! The song is built on the premise of not having enough time for friends and relationships due to life's pressures, so to be able to have two whole days together to create and experiment felt like absolute luxury.

We used, organ, an electric drum kit, a two way radio, many pedals and bongo drums to get the chaotic joyful sounds that create WINDOWS. This song turned out so fun and loud and rambunctious! My favourite thing about this band is when someone has an idea we just go "ok, try it." It doesn't always work out and we know how to move on pretty quick but there's no lack of enthusiasm in trying new things. I think I have an ability to just think I can do everything, like learn the trumpet in ten minutes, hahah, yeah that didn't happen, BUT so many other things come out of just giving things a go!

UNDERWATER LONELY

Underwater Lonely, the final track on SUCKED IN was probably the trickiest of all the songs to come together. I had demoed it and taken it to the band with my ideas but I think Ben struggled with what he could add to it and if it really even needed anything more. This song is probably the most removed as far as a live band setting.

The lyrics are based on my experience of being a new mum and the isolation that came with that for me, not something often referred to in a pop based album. The emotional toll to get to the end of it was a lot for both myself and Olga. Leo had some beautiful ideas on how to approach the dropout section that really helped bring it all together with so many harmonic layers that Olga and I went part for part on. Ben finished everything off with some completely devastating guitar lines that really helped portray the feelings that I was trying to relay in the track and I couldn't have come up with anything more perfect tbh . Leo experimented with an underlying vocoder layer which gives the feeling of another person in the room, i love that so much. The abrupt ending was on purpose, and the only way we could all hear it being tied up. it's kind of like you're on this emotional journey and then.... BAM. It's over. Sucked in!

          - Nici Ward (Lonesome Dove), July 2023

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Lonesome Dove Upcoming Shows

Sat July 22 - Mojos Bar, Freo

Fri July 28 - Prince of Wales, Bunbury

Sat July 29 - Amplifier Bar, Perth

Follow Lonesome Dove: Instagram / Facebook

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