Notorious Melbourne pub rockers Dave Wright & The Midnight Electric are releasing their long-awaited and uniquely Australian second album, HWY. Having had first-hand experience of that old adage ‘sometimes life gets in your way’, after a challenging 2016 with the band on hiatus, the six-piece have come busting out for 2017 revived, renewed, refreshed and ready to rock.
The band are known not just for their powerful live shows, but for their poignant lyrical ability. Singer-songwriter Dave Wright pens evocative lyrics of the darker, gothic side of Australia; death, despair, the downtrodden, the distressed and the drunks. This new album is no exception, it is vivid with these themes but has a core inspiration you can see from the album title; the dualities of the road – how it brings people together and sustains them, and how it can tear people apart. Taking this central theme, Dave opted for a concise album of eight-tracks that could exist on two sides of vinyl and would hold thematically strong for audiences.
Once settling on the ‘road’ theme for HWY, the album fell into place, with obvious song selections going into the studio, cutting several songs that didn’t fit anymore, and a couple which had been previously overlooked were given attention and colourfully revived. Dave was careful to ensure that the eight tracks which form the new album were varied in style and pace, but connected thematically and emotionally, fitting the framework of journey / relationship / despair scenarios. “I knew I wanted some fast and some slow numbers, and that while I think HWY is our most ‘rock’ record, I still wanted to show my love of folk and country and highlight the versatility of the band,” says Dave.
Dave admits he had some lofty ideas from his songwriting background, which was originally inspired by lyrically detailed ‘story’ songwriters such as Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Paul Kelly and Don Walker. Ideally, Dave wanted to write music that, although relatable and uniquely Australian, could still resonate heavily with audiences on a global scale.
Choosing a story concept, the album opens with the mysterious revving of a car engine coming to life and proceeds to give soul to the road as its central theme, closing with a man shattered by the loss of his wife in a tragic car accident, lost and seeking solace on the open highway.
The album was inspired by his childhood growing up in Colac, Victoria and taking enjoyment in long distance travel. The writing on HWY is truly evocative of this experience. “From a small a boy I have loved to travel, especially through this great country,” says Dave. “I have seen a lot from the window of a car and love driving those great roads where the asphalt dissects the horizon and the sky just opens up. I write about driving because it is the means to an end. The by-product of the journey that we are all on, and the stories that are yet to be told.”
Dave has come a long way from his first performance at the local church aged 14 when he got his first band together, keen to play for anyone who would listen. As for the future of Dave Wright & the Midnight Electric, the band will be doing a series of launch shows in Melbourne, followed by regional and interstate shows for Adelaide and Sydney, and are really looking forward to hitting the road and performing the new album live to new faces in new locations.
Dave Wright & The Midnight Electric’s new album HWY is independently released on Thursday 20th April 2017.
For more information, please visit www.davewrightandthemidnightelectric.com