The Sound Cafe
Australian Contemporary Indie-Roots Artist Paula Standing Delivers Outstanding New Album
Call It Home, a different slant on a road trip song. With little but self-confidence, a family makes an adventurous move across the country looking for a new life. This is an inside look at the artist’s move to discover a brave new world for her young family.
The breathtaking sound of Andy Leftwich’s (Nashville’s Kentucky Thunder) fiddle opens the track and sets the benchmark for the whole album, The More I Give.
Paula Standing’s musical influences got in early and deep. As a toddler she would sit under the piano while her musically talented mother would take time out most days to play and sing.
And then there were the parties.
Legendary Saturday night gatherings of friends and neighbours, which at times seemed like half her small Atherton Tableland home town. The only requirement was the house had to have a piano. Song lyrics were written on large sheets of card propped on the piano, which was played in rotation by various ladies so that the music, dancing and fun could continue into the very late hours of the night.
Paula moved away to study music and voice at University, then married and began a family, before returning to the Far North for a period. Juggling life and family she still found time for the occasional musical outlet wherever she could.
Then in 1996, on a whim of ..”let’s just get in the car and see what’s out there”..she moved her family to Adelaide where, influenced by Americana and country artists, she began experimenting with song writing and teaching herself the guitar. In 2013 she began taking it more seriously, began having guitar lessons and working with others musicians where she became known for her stunningly sweet voice and closely observed lyrics.
At a 2019 song writing workshop in Nundle, NSW, Paula wrote a “sweet murder ballad” with one of the tutors, Jeremy Edwards. In 2020 at his TCMF show at the Nundle pub Jeremy invited Paula to come up and sing the song. Fellow musician Lou Bradley was sitting in the audience and was impressed enough to suggest sending a demo to producer Rod McCormack, who subsequently agreed to produce what turned out to be the album “The More I Give”
The week long song writing process was a intensely introspective, emotional and at times confronting experience for Paula. Rod, Lou and Gina Jeffreys along with some of Gina’s students dug deep into Paula’s life, using those parties, her mother, children, husband and her own musical journey, as inspiration for the majority of the songs. Hence “The More I Give” is a sincerely personal album, with an underlying narrative that demands listening to the next song to see how the story pans out.
Hiding Out In Tuscany which reflects Paula’s desire to seek out what life may hold, where ever that may be, was meant to be the precursor to the full album release but a pandemic got in the way. So rather than release the full album Paula began releasing selected tracks.