With a southern-leaning country-rock sound, Lucie Tiger continues to cultivate new listeners with 'Right Next To You' her latest release.Lucie's first single of 2022, 'Right Next To You' follows three songs the Sydney-based artist released in 2021: 'Do Me Right', 'Midnight Goodbye' and 'Found My Home'.
She has again teamed with a collection of musicians – Bob Wray on bass guitar (Ray Charles), Will McFarlane on guitar (Bonnie Raitt) and Justin Holder on drums (Jason Isbell, ShoalsFest) – who recorded Lucie's 2020 EP 'Gasoline'.
"'Right Next To You' is here. I absolutely love this song, it always puts me in a good mood when I listen to it or when I play it. I hope it does the same for you," Lucie shares.
Ahead of a return to the USA for further recording sessions and shows later this year, Lucie sits down for an old-style chinwag.
Tell us about your new single, 'Right Next To You'; sonic direction, lyrical influences?
'Right Next To You' is all about chasing your dreams, hitting the road and taking a chance on love.
It picks up where 'Gasoline' left off with the adventures that come with being on the road and that makes sense as I wrote it while on tour in the USA!
It was inspired by the fun and spontaneity that comes with being on tour – choosing a two-lane blacktop over the interstate, looking for a good roadside burger joint and searching for that perfect sunset that becomes an indelible memory, something you look back on fondly.
How does this latest single showcase your 'current' sound?
This single is definitely tapping into my 1970s country-rock influences and we wanted to really match the music to the lyrics. So when you picture the west (especially in the USA) you're thinking about big skies, endless stretches of desert and landscapes like Monument Valley.
The big, sweeping lead guitar really gives it that feel and the music in general I feel really complements the lyrics in the best possible way.
I like the fact that I'm making music that is completely true to who I am, I'm not just following what's 'in' at the moment – I think that's what really draws people in, it doesn't sound like anything else out there.
Given you recorded 'Right Next To You' with your band on the other side of the world (thanks COVID), did that shape the song any differently?
I recorded 'Right Next To You' with the same group of musicians and recording engineer that was on the 'Gasoline' EP.
That particular EP I recorded in person at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals and when we did that session the group of session players picked up immediately on my influences, on the sound I was after and delivered perfectly.
Even though I couldn't be there in person to record the last few singles I've released, including 'Right Next To You', I was confident that once again they'd do an amazing job.
I sent over demos to the guys in Muscle Shoals and they sent back the finished recordings and they were all perfect – nothing needed changing. They picked up on what I was after and I wouldn't change a thing.
You're headed back to the US in April, returning to Muscle Shoals to record music for a new album as well as play a number of shows; will it be all business while you're there or will there be some time for a little R&R fun?
I think there's always a bit of R&R baked into US tours – for me there is anyway!
It's always such a blast to be heading over and a change of scenery is honestly as good as a holiday. But I suppose I probably get joy out of discovering new places, playing new venues, recording in amazing, historic studios like FAME in Muscle Shoals and Sun Studio in Memphis, so I get super recharged doing it all. I feel like I want to sleep for a week when I get back, but it's all worth it in the end.
Looking back at your own 2021, despite all the setbacks the pandemic delivered, you still had one of your most successful years to date; can you express the gratitude and appreciation you've felt as your new music has found a dedicated fan base?
It was definitely not the year I think we all expected to have after 2020!
But my music really did find a home in 2021, on radio and on people's personal playlists, and for that I am so thankful. There is honestly no better feeling than knowing that you've put your heart and soul into something and there are people out there loving it.
I definitely think my unique sound is what sets me apart and it's been quite interesting seeing how my fan base responds to it. So often I get them saying 'I can't stand country music – but I love your music!', so hopefully I'm bringing a whole new audience to the genre.
You're pretty active on TikTok with regular videos; have you enjoyed curating content for a new audience?
I find it really fun! I like trying my hand at the trends that come up in Instagram Reels and TikTok (which to me are kind of one and the same these days) and, as a creative person, I find it enjoyable to put them all together.
What's the best aspect as a performer engaging with fans via TikTok compared to other platforms?
I think it's a great way of showing people what you're about in a way that's not just a photo post.
For me I like to talk about writing original songs, being on the road, being creative in general. I think when you're creating a lot of content in your niche you automatically start to draw people in.
We're now two years (basically) into this pandemic; any words of encouragement you'd like to share for anyone reading who maybe feeling a little down?
The only constant in life is change. I think this is the only way you can get your hopes up sometimes – it will end eventually, everything does.
Everything is temporary – all of the mandates, the rules, the restrictions, even the way you feel personally about the pandemic will change.
Of course, this goes both ways! Good times won't last forever but you can rest easy in the knowledge that bad times won't last forever either – you just have to keep going, keep pushing on and things eventually turn around.
You share a lot of photos/ posts about your love of the open road as well as bayous in the US; can you put into words the feeling you have when you're interacting IRL with these passions?
I do love a bayou photo that's for sure! I think for some of these things they literally don't exist in my world (inner city Sydney).
I have so many amazing, happy memories of being on the road in the USA – posting those photos on social media is my way of reminding myself of them, they always bring a smile to my face.
When I'm there in person I always love taking the road less travelled – it gives you time to really take in everything you're seeing.
Taking the smaller county roads means you can actually stop and take photos of the bayou (that you wouldn't even see from the interstate), it means you can drive through each sweet, little town on your way to the next destination and every small town in the USA is unique and has a different flavour to it. If I could I would stop in each of them, but if I can't then at least I can drive through them – maybe even stop for a burger.
What are your essential tracks for a road trip playlist?
I think it depends where you're driving! If you're driving through the South, say Mississippi and Alabama, you want some swampy blues and southern rock: Shuggie Otis, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy Waters.
Driving through Tennessee and if you're heading west, I love some good country rock like Miranda Lambert, Whisky Myers, Blackberry Smoke, Elvie Shane, Lainey Wilson.
My classic road tripping playlist would be a bit more classic rock though: Doobie Brothers, Bob Seger (I could listen to 'Night Moves' on a loop from Muscle Shoals to Memphis if my passengers would let me), Joe Walsh, Bad Company, Creedence Clearwater Revival, ZZ Top, the list goes on.
Which fictional character best describes your personality?
Beth Dutton from 'Yellowstone'. She's a total badass and sure, she's got her flaws but she's got a backbone and will stand up for the right thing.
She's your biggest supporter when she's in your corner but the last place you want to be is on her bad side. I might not be quite as ruthless as Beth, but I'll definitely stand up for what I think is right. I'm a better horse rider than her though.
Last show you binge-watched (and what kept you glued to the screen)?
'Yellowstone' and its prequel '1883'. They're both amazing, so immersive and with stories that are so rich and layered.
The soundtrack to 'Yellowstone' is also fantastic – it's introduced me to so many fascinating country and Americana artists. Plus, I grew up watching westerns with my Dad, so it's really cool to see the genre have a resurgence, both with a modern treatment and a wild west one.
What's the one chore you dislike the most?
Taking my makeup off after a gig – it takes forever. But I always like to put on a good show for the audience and that includes things like false eyelashes.
I think it's really important to always remember that your audience isn't there for you – you're there for them. So I like to always put in 110 per cent effort into every gig to make it as enjoyable as possible for the crowd – and if that includes the false lashes then so be it.
Do you have any phobias?
Trucks carrying lots of logs on the big freeways. Maybe I've watched too many horror movies (my favourite genre) but this could be one, big reason why I don't drive on the interstate.
Thanks for your time; anything else you'd like to add?
I want to say thank you to scenestr for giving me the opportunity for this chat and to say a big thank you to my fans. I've had people who read scenestr come to my gigs and tell me they discovered me via scenestr – which is so cool.
Thank you for supporting my music, for listening, for liking, for sharing, for watching, for everything. I couldn't do what I do without the fans so I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. There's even more music and big live shows coming up later this year so stay tuned.
Lucie Tiger 2022 Tour DatesSat 26 Feb - Warners Park (Sydney)
Sat 26 Feb - Sappho Wine Bar (Sydney)
Fri 11 Mar - Twilight Food Fair (Sydney)
Sat 26 Mar - Sappho Wine Bar (Sydney)
Sat 28 May - Sappho Wine Bar (Sydney)
Sat 25 Jun - Sappho Wine Bar (Sydney)