My friend Tom drove me home after my first ever karaoke experience. My head lolled a little as we threaded lanes and tunnels. I might have had heat stroke. I played a show earlier that day and it was 35-degrees. I had worn a blue polyester jumpsuit and a trench coat. Wise. Queensland humidity is a real thing. But I’d also been drinking since I got off stage so maybe that had more to do with my condition. Regardless, Tom told me he had a song to play me. The minor chords wept and the melody ached through me landing somewhere below my collarbones. That same space when you find a faded film photo of an old home when moving boxes. It’s precious to drive at night and listen, in silence, to new things someone has to show you. At the end of the song we didn’t anything for a while. Then I asked Tom if he didn’t get tired, sometimes, of the slow, sad-sounding songs. He said no.
I spend a bit of time late at night in a wooden cottage with the windows closed, cords and leads in a winding web across the floor, headphones on. The quiet hours. Tinkering with leads and chords in relative silence but for some seeming acapella outbursts or mumbling drones. My son sleeps through it all, mostly. Lately it’s been this bunch of tunes lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, looking left and right to each other. A merit team announcement. My first solo record.
I wrote these songs after returning from a creative Fellowship that took me to Berlin. I went over there with 16 Lovers Lane in my head and had my heart blown out by a San Francisco garage band who I watched from side of stage at a festival in a tiny French port village. These songs didn’t have a home with the band I was in and dearly loved. So I started a new one.
Back in Australia, with Vinnie Laduce in his Byron Bay studio, we began to document Feeding Fauna. Pieced together / a song a day / a day at a time / a bucket of months. Here it is. N is for Then.
released June 1, 2017
All songs written by Louise O'Reilly
Except Everything is Free by Gillian Welch
All songs played by Louise O'Reilly and Vinnie Laduce with Matt Englebrecht
Produced by Vinnie Laduce and recorded at Inky Business Studios Has Moved, Bryon Bay
Mastered by Jordan Power
Artwork by Arthur Hannan