By Sean O’Grady


With quite possibly the single of the year under her belt with the song Paradise, Tracy McNeil and her cohorts The Good Life will release their new album Thieves on July 1st.


The new album captures the openness and spirit of the 70’s LA sound drawing on the influences of Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell and contemporary exponents like Dawes and Houndmouth. It’s a deeply personal and reflective album drawing on the changes and challenges of life. Tracy has a knack for crafting music that’s vibrant but deftly lingers in the past, her honest approach and ear for melody makes her one of the best songwriters in town.


The initial seeds of the album were sown in early 2015, a trip back to her former homeland of Canada kicked off the writing process in earnest. A basement studio owned by her mother and stepfather gave her the opportunity to focus on her ideas and overcome a persistent case of writers block.


As Tracy explained, “I was in a writers block, I had these ideas but couldn’t put it all together. I wrote the song The Valley, which ironically is about writers block, while I was in Canada and that started the ball rolling and opened up the floodgates.”


“Every song is based around the theme of loss, I lost my Dad which was a huge influence on the record and the year I spent writing it. Every song is personal whether it be autobiographical or connected to someone I know. It’s also the notion of time and new beginnings the excitement of starting something new whether it be a relationship or a new adventure. It’s probably the most personal album that I’ve made to date,” Tracy said.


Musical inspiration came from more contemporary sources: bands like Dawes, Shovels and Rope and Houndmouth.


“That rawness and their harmonies that whole contemporary twist, it sounds modern but picks up pieces and threads from what has been done before. I don’t write from one genre I’m writing from a personal space and the melody that I hear in my head.”


Contemporary twist in many ways sums up the album, Paradise has an energetic and dynamic feel whilst capturing the harmonies and powerful sound of Fleetwood Mac. The sprightly Middle Of The Night has an optimistic tone, the feeling that there is always something else around the corner.


Thieves was recorded at Shane O’Mara’s Yikesville studio, “Shane has an amazing understanding of how to capture sounds in the most incredible way, he is an amazing engineer.”


A crucial part of the recording process was to maintain a live feel to capture the raw energy of each song. In particular tracks like The Valley and Blueprint have a timeless quality, stripped back to their bare essence whilst on songs like Paradise and Little Relief Tracy and the band build up a solid pulsing groove.


Tracy and The Good Life will be touring Thieves throughout July and will be launching the album at Bella Union on the 25th of June.


“We are a bit nervous, we have done a few of these songs live, it’s going to be an unveiling but we are very excited,” Tracy said.


So they should be with an album boasting songs that have such an enduring quality.


Tracy McNeil Thieves

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