Building upon a wealth of musical influences and time spent developing and honing their artistry, Byron Bay trio The Buckleys present their debut album in Daydream – the culmination of three young lives that have lived and breathed music, now striding out and embracing their own sonic identity. A fusion of country, pop, americana and indie, Daydream is a sun-kissed collection of music that embodies the personalities and spirit of the Buckley siblings – Sarah (20), Molly (17) and Lachlan (19).
Produced and engineered by multi-Grammy Award winner Chad Carlson, Daydream has already produced four Top 10 Australian Country Airplay charting singles: Daydream (#1), I’m Comin’ For Ya (Love) (#3), Money (#2) and Breathe (#3). The success of these singles has been felt not just on Australian soil, but internationally too, with multiple playlist nods across Spotify, Apple Music, VEVO and Radio Disney Country in the USA.
You’ve been doing your 12 days of daydream series on your social media, where you’ve chat to a different musician every day for twelve days in the lead up to the release of your debut album. However, I read that this is not the first time you’ve dipped your toes into the world of journalism – is it true you interviewed the McClymonts when you were young?
Molly: Yes, we did. We interviewed the McClymonts when we were very young. We were huge fans – well, we still are huge fans, but, back then, we had their poster on our wall! Our older brother was filming a documentary or something at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and Sarah and Frankie, our brother, went out to one of their concerts the night before. I was so devastated! I was crying. Then they surprised me and woke me up saying, “We’re about to go interview the McClymonts.” I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m ready right now!” Anyway, we interviewed them, and it was a big moment for us. We were so nervous. [We were] like little chipmunks asking them questions. It was funny. We have the footage. We don’t know what we’re doing with the whole hosting interviews, but we’re trying our best.
Given that you started performing as well as interviewing at such a young age, instead of going down a music pathway, realistically you could have gone down a journalist part as well.
Molly: It’s funny, like we didn’t plan doing interviews or anything – and it’s certainly not something we consider us being interviewers or anything – we just started doing it. Especially right now, with everything that’s going on, we’re finding new ways to connect with people. It’s been cool having these conversations where we interview all these artists about their experience and journey from their debut album. We interviewed John Oates from Hall & Oates. They are one of our top favourite bands and songwriters of all time, so that was amazing! It’s been cool to have all of these conversations.
Regardless, you’ve certainly proven yourself when it comes to interviews and I can’t dismiss the huge success you’ve had with your music. So, is there anything you guys can’t do?
Sarah: I’m really bad at cooking [laughs]. I’ve almost burnt the house down numerous times. What are you bad at, Molly?
Lachlan: She’s bad at driving.
Molly: Whatever, I’m a good driver. I’m sure [I’m bad at] many things. We’re all bad at math – that’s something the Buckley’s do not strive at – we got Dad’s genes on that one. What are you bad at, Lachlan? Thinking on your toes? [laughs].
Lachlan: I guess, [I’m bad at] cleaning up.
Your debut album, Daydream is a fusion of country, pop, americana and indie, produced and engineered by multi-Grammy Award winner Chad Carlson in Nashville. In an interview, Molly stated that you wanted this album to capture who the Buckley’s are right now, musically, personally and artistically. Could you define how all three are showcased in this album?
Molly: Musically, as a band, when we go into the recording studio, we’re not thinking of a specific genre. We have our sounds and our grass roots, which is country, but we’re also so much more. So, we never think about what it’s going to turn out like. We live in the moment and create sounds that we love, and we let everyone decide where it fits.
Sarah: Artistically, we’re always evolving and changing – our tastes are changing all the time. Musically, we have a lot of different influences and flavours. And so, with this album, we wanted to capture all the things that make up who we are. And then personally, I’m only 20 years old, and these guys are 19 and 17, [respectively], so we’re learning so much in this whole journey and in our lives, and discovering what we want to say as people and trying to translate our experiences into the songs we’re writing and the songs we’re singing.
Molly: A few years ago, like four or five, we were trying to figure out what kind of band do we want to be, what do we want to look like, what do we want to say and what do we want to sound like, and we had that light bulb moment where why’d don’t we be exactly who we are – all the different flavours and colours and influences – and be authentic in whatever moment we’re in and time we’re in.
Sarah: And confident within our sound and not second guessing where we want to go …
Molly: And changing depending on who we’re working with or what someone else wants us to do. For the last three years, it’s being who we are, creating something that’s fresh and new and being excited about what we’re doing. What we’re creating is the most important thing for us right now.
Sarah: We’re just so excited for people to be able to hear [the album] finally!
Considering the wide range of musical influences that is reflected in the sounds on the album, the nature of the industry is to try and put in you a box or slap you under a certain genre, when, for example, someone who listens to country, pop, indie or americana could still enjoy your music – do you think the concept of genre needs to be removed, changed or eliminated?
Sarah: I think it’s a fun aspect to the industry, people taking it on themselves and putting it to their own interpretation. We love, like I said, everything from country to rock and roll to pop. I feel like genres, the lines are blurred nowadays. There’s a lot of pop happening in country and country happening in pop.
Molly: I feel like it’d be a shame for us to not put in a particular sound that we are vibing with and inspired by in that moment just because there’s this thing hovering over our heads about genre. We just want to create what we create. We don’t think about it and it goes where it goes.
Your previous single Breathe was written around the time of the Australian bushfires and was a big inspiration in the message of the song. Given the state of the world right now, are the events surrounding Covid being reflected in new songs you’ve been writing recently as well?
Sarah: Yeah, we’re writing a lot of new songs. I feel like my writing, I get inspired by momentum and energy around me and going places, meeting new people, so [now] it’s a different way and a different way of being inspired. I feel like writing from other people’s perspectives, more so during this time, because we’re not going out and about right now. Whether it’s watching a movie, reading a book or a conversation I had with someone, it’s interesting to put yourself in those shoes. So that’s something I’ve been concentrating on a little bit more.
Molly: As songwriters, you’re always influenced by what’s happening around you, so Covid would creep in some way.
You recently wrapped up your World Virtual Tour with Live Nation, which saw you performing to audiences from around the world, including India. Being how you were at home instead of performing live on a stage, was this tour more personal than any you’ve done previously?
Sarah: It was personal in a way because we were playing music and connecting with each other in our lounge room, and people were probably watching from the lounge room as well. We were so lucky to do it when the lockdown started happening. Live Nation came on board and gave us all the platforms to perform to from our home. It was a really different experience. We had our dogs walking around barking, we didn’t have to wear shoes and then when the cameras cut off, we could go in our PJs. We’re grateful for that opportunity to be able to connect with people from all around the world.
Lachlan: It was a funny adjustment playing to a camera instead of people. You had to pretend that there’s hundreds or thousands of people in front of you and act like you’re playing on a massive stage.
On the World Virtual Tour, you wore extravagant outfits, performed covers from the likes of Fleetwood Mac to Harry Styles, Sarah played bass guitar, and your Dad as well as your brother 12-year-old brother Dylan played drums. Is Dylan liking to become an official member of The Buckley’s in the upcoming future?
Molly: It’s fully up to him. One thing we’ve never done is force anyone into music in this house. It’s always been the person’s decision. He is such an incredible drummer. We really threw him in the deep end with the virtual tour, but he swam, which was great. Hopefully he does jump on the drums live.
Sarah: I think he wants to. He’s made a few appearances in a few of our film clips. If you watch the Money music video, he’s in that one, banging on the drums.
You’re from a very musical family. You accredit your parents for your diverse upbringing in music, but your Dad was also a rock and roll drummer in the 80s. Are your parents involved in The Buckley’s band too?
Sarah: We’re lucky to have supportive parents. Growing up, dragging them festivals and coming on for the ride and being an integral part of letting us live our dreams. But they’re not involved in any professional capacity, but they are around all the time. If we need them any help, they’re here.
Did growing up in Byron Bay have any influence on your musically at all?
Molly: Byron is a creative place. It’s very normal to be creative in this area and artistic. It showed us this alternative way of living, which is fun.
Sarah: I feel like growing up, because it is a bit left of centre and outside of the box, people and their tastes and the trends are a bit different to the mainstream. Like, growing up and going to school, Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder were the most popular playlists at parties and in class, everyone loved old school funk, which I think is a bit different to a lot of areas, so I feel like it was encouraged to be different and have your own style.
Daydream is out now. Stream it on Spotify here.
For more in-depth interviews on CountryTown, check out here.