Real Hard Week is the final single to be lifted from Dominic Breen’s eagerly anticipated upcoming debut album Blue Volume. Clever, relatable metaphors and gorgeous vocal melodies sit atop rich, meticulously layered guitars and a driving beat. The song is somehow both uplifting and melancholic. Produced by Tim Fitz (Middle Kids) and mastered by Matthew Neighbour (Matt Corby, The Avalanches), Real Hard Week once again showcases Breen’s heartfelt song writing and extraordinary talent as he performs every instrument on the track. Breen has spent the past couple of years building up to his first full collection of music – the remarkable debut album Blue Volume and tells Hi Fi Way more about it.
What is the story behind the single?
I can’t really say exactly what it’s about but I think there’s themes of realisation and liberation in there.. Songs are like spheres and there’s no way of knowing which way they face. It’s not easy or perhaps even pertinent to narrativise these things. What I can say is, Real Hard Week was the first song I recorded together with Tim Fitz as part of the Blue Volume sessions. I initially thought it was to be a duet, at least musically, but then you know, you start recording and at some point along the way you maybe venture into memories or emotions that were the catalysts for it being written or something. Maybe I just ended up not liking the idea. Anyway, it became hard to imagine anyone else singing it but me. The duet idea also wasn’t helped by Tim being rather anti-duet, from memory. So I guess that’s one story for you.
Is it a relief to get the album out after all the COVID challenges?
It’s more of an empowering feeling than one of relief, if I had to be specific. The world faces challenges everyday and COVID is just one we face together.
Did COVID force you to work differently?
Yes, it did. But looking back now, there’s nothing I would change about how we had to work. When COVID first loomed, and when it first came through, it offered most people more time for things they would normally overlook. And also, I think even though people were more separated from one another and all that, it seemed there was a sense of togetherness about it, that we were all in some sort of solidarity with one another. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case for people today.
Do you find song-writing a therapeutic process?
I don’t know. Maybe it can be? On one hand you’re possibly getting in touch with some deep transmission within yourself, on another it’s just fun chuck a few chords together and sing, and any meaning you impose on it is wrong or misguided. I guess I try not to think about it as therapy. Isn’t that what therapists are for?
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for yourself?
This sort of question always gets me. I don’t think it’s possible or even fair to pin it down to one person. I encourage everyone to buy my record and decide for themselves.
Did you lose much momentum last year due to the pandemic?
No, actually the initial waves of lockdown meant I had more time to focus on recording. There was the obvious loss of live shows and the momentum we all had with that, but it just made us focus on other things I guess.
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country this year?
I’m looking forward to all that is possible. I don’t think touring the country more broadly is possible this year, but as soon as it is, you can be sure the DB6 will be in a town near you. I think everyone’s looking forward to whenever that can happen.
What’s next for Dominic Breen?
I’ve got a lot of songs ready to record. I’m investigating a few things to do with that. I’ve done a few paintings recently and I wanna turn a couple into prints. I’d like to just give them away to people, or let people pay what they want for them. That would be nice.
Interview By Rob Lyon