Track x Track: Tay Oskee - Keepers of the Morning
Aussie singer-songwriter takes us through his charming debut album of uplifting indie folk sounds
Image credit: Carolina Sierra
What would you do if you wanted to record an album but found your environment too noisy and not suited to capturing sound? Well, if you’re Queensland-based Tay Oskee, you’d build your own sustainable recording studio out of a shipping container, which is exactly what he did on a property in Kin Kin to record his debut album Keepers of the Morning.
An entirely DIY effort, Keepers of the Morning sees Oskee take us on a journey through pop-laden indie folk sounds across nine tracks of emotional, personal and affecting compositions.
Regarding the building of his studio, Oskee explains “I had the idea to build a recording studio in an old shipping container, this way I was investing in something that we could move with us wherever we decided to live next. The whole build took a few months with some much-needed help from friends and family here and there. I had no idea what I was doing and about 2 months of the build was planning and second guessing what will work, will it be soundproof, how do I make it sound decent inside etc. Once I was finally committed it kinda flew by and the end result was better than I could have ever expected.”
With Keepers of the Morning out today, Tay was kind enough to take us through the album track by track - have a listen and get to know below!
1. I Miss It
A track reminiscing about those summer days with a bunch of mates living the dream, then the realisation that time moves on and nothing can stay the same. However, even though those days are gone I’m still happy with the people I love, but it’s ok to miss those special moments and look back fondly.
Young love can be pretty brutal, especially when you have your eyes on someone who you may think is out of your league. This song is about getting out of the shadow and giving it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose.
3. The Pill
'The Pill' is one of the last tracks I wrote for the album. While I initially wrote the song about being okay with yourself and your thoughts, it's also a celebration of community and the magic of coming together at a grassroots level, and I wanted the song to feel big and anthemic in its production to reflect this. I hope listeners can feel inspired and empowered by the track, and that it gives them a bit of hope and excitement for the future.
4. Keepers Of The Morning
This is my favourite track on the record and has my favourite lyrics. We can’t control everything that happens in the world but we can learn to control our thoughts and our mind.. Terrible things happen all the time, our earth is being destroyed, companies seem to have free reign but there is still so much light and beauty in the world. And that beauty is within all of us, humans are not evil or bad, we are pretty incredible beings and I think we need to celebrate that instead of feeling shame for being human. However, we also need to realise we need to take a step back and embrace that we are nature and be gentle to her. If we can do that then I think we can break our own shackles and live a pure, gentle, and happy life.
5. Kin Kin
A simple little chant with the sounds of the property featuring Rufus the rooster.
6. Let The Fire Burn
I wrote 'Let The Fire Burn' to take me back to a simpler time with mates, camping out in nature and having proper deep yarns around the fire. In the moment I wrote the track I had a great realisation that we never truly know what will happen in life so it's better to do the things you love, because it could all go wrong and if it does, at least ya let the fire burn.
7. Sequoia (Lovers On The Mountain)
About 5 years ago my wife and I were travelling to her home country Ecuador and on the way, we stayed at Sequoia National Park. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, El Capitan towering above us, with white tipped peaks everywhere and then seeing the biggest trees in the world, made both of us feel so connected and in the moment. It really put everything into perspective. I wrote this song to take me back to those 10 days. I liked the idea that in that moment we were just lovers on the mountain, we were dreamers, and we know we're only passing through. The universe however, its epic scale and beauty would continue on well after us. For me that is a great comfort, and the song is a nice reminder for me to live now and always be connected to the earth.
8. Follow You
In 2020 my wife Carolina went for a surf at Wategos beach in Byron and I remember telling her to be careful as it was a little rough. She rang me in tears as she had been smashed up against the cliff, board smashed and she was covered in blood and cuts., She was so close to drowning that she told me she had completely let herself go to the ocean. Follow you follows her journey, the lyrics ‘Now I follow You’ is her talking to the Pacific Ocean and surrendering.
9. Lead Weighted Slumber
Another stand up to the man kinda track, Lead Weighted Slumber is all about the people arising from our sleep. We are stuck in the mould of living to society’s terms, making money, getting a job, etc. and most of our effort and work ends in a tiny population of the earth benefiting. This song is to help people have the courage to paint their own picture, you have the canvas, and you can live the life you dreamed, not someone else's.
- Tay Oskee, April 2023