Vikki Thorn – best known as one third of folk-rock trio The Waifs – has announced the eponymous debut album for her new project, ThornBird, alongside new single ‘Bullets And Heartbreak’ and a run of national tour dates.
Building on the bluesy, country-esque flair of previous singles ‘Tempest’ and ‘All The Things’, the new track shines with swampy, roaring guitars, stacked vocal harmonies and a simple, yet impactful drum beat.
The track features Simon and Tammy London of Albany group The Red Tails (who Thorn says are her next-door neighbours), and was recorded live with Thorn’s backing band. Have a listen to ‘Bullets And Heartache’ below:
Described as “a wild west ode to love and relationship”, Thorn said in a press release today (February 4) that ‘Bullets And Heartbreak’ followed a narrative of two outback lovers. “He comes in blazing rhetoric and she takes him on a wild horse chase,” she explained. “Gritty guitar, [a] laidback groove and big harmonies round it up and bring it home.”
It’s said that Thorn’s new project was conceptualised when the singer-songwriter walked into local a bar and saw “a band playing some dirty folk blues in the corner”. After watching them play an hour of “raw and edgy” music “so loose that it felt like they were skating”, she supposedly thought to herself, “I want to make a record with these guys.”
Many of the tracks on ‘ThornBird’ – due out independently on March 12 – were drawn from “unplayed phone recordings and memories of ten years living in the wilds of Utah”, with the album itself co-produced by Thorn and Rudimental, Birds Of Tokyo and Illy collaborator Dan Carroll.
Asked why she only chose to make a solo album after 30 years in The Waifs, Thorn said: “I had just moved back to West Australia. Turns out I found myself with a year of cancelled Waif engagements. Turns out I had a bunch of songs sitting in a box. Turns out that band in the bar lived not so far away. Turns out they were all keen. This all turns out an album.”
A day before the album’s release, Thorn and her band will embark on a 14-date national tour in support of it, kicking off at the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine. She’ll celebrate release day with a show at the Queenscliff Town hall, before stopping by the Yarra Valley to play this year’s Wildflower festival (she’ll also appear at the Brisbane and Hunter Valley dates of the event).
From there, Thorn will roll through Eumundi, Byron Bay, Bulli, Melbourne, Meeniyan and Adelaide, before wrapping the tour up in Perth on Saturday April 9. See the Facebook post below for tickets to each show.