Known for her remarkable voice, emotional honesty and ability to translate difficult subject matter into rich pop songs, Cairns-based artist Greta Stanley has been on a rising trajectory over the past few years. Taken from her forthcoming sophomore album, new single Close Call is another collaboration with producer/co-writer Tristan Barton, who is best known for his acclaimed film soundtrack work. Incorporating subtle hip-hop production influences and a stream-of-consciousness style lyrical delivery into her signature indie-.pop/folk sound for the first time, Close Call may be Stanley’s finest and most unique song yet. Great answers a few questions about the single for Hi Fi Way
Congratulations on the single Close Call, you must be really stoked with how that one turned out
Thank you! Absolutely! I’m so happy with how it ended up, Tristan Barton (producer) really brought it to life in the studio. He produced and co-wrote this single and we are both really happy with it.
Are you surprised that hanging on to the lyrics for so long that it ended up as a finished song?
I guess I’m not too surprised as I always planned to do something with it I just didn’t know what direction it would be best suited to, we sat on it for a few days before approaching it when we’re in the studio but once we started it just all felt natural and right without sounding too cliche.
What is the story behind the single?
I wrote this song a long time ago, at the time I was spending time with people who were quite judgemental of anyone who didn’t do the things they did or had the beliefs they did – it’s kind of about people making you feel ‘less than’ just because you don’t align with what they think is cool / good. It’s about needing to step away and remember not to get caught up in other peoples egos
How is work tracking on your second album?
We are pretty much finished! All that’s left is some mastering and a few bits of tweaking but all the recording is done which is really exciting. It’s been happening over an amount of time so it doesn’t feel rushed, I feel good about all of the songs and how they work together. It was nice to involve friends in the recording process, I co-wrote some songs with Tristan Barton and he and Mark Myers produced a lot of the songs, I was also lucky enough to work with Tobias Kuhn (German based producer) on two singles that already came out.
Do you ever worry about the second album blues?
Haha I guess not until you mention it. I guess I’ve had thoughts of what will come after this, but I think I just have to leave that up to time and trust the process. I feel pretty proud that this will be my fourth body of work released, I can’t imagine stopping here!
Has it been harder working on music in a COVID landscape?
I’d say it’s been easier to find the time and energy to put into recording, thankfully I have two day jobs! It has been a bit disheartening to realise it’s going to be a long road for so many industries to recover including the creative industry. I think it was hard for a while to feel inspired or encouraged to create when everything was such a shit show and the music industry wasn’t getting the support that other industries were (footy!) haha. I just tried to ride the waves out and create at my own pace rather than force anything.
How much do you think your music has evolved since your debut album?
I think I still write in a similar way, of story telling and personal experiences but I would say I’ve explored some newer sounds and tried different things. There’s a lot more pop on this album, but also a country song and two more acoustic ones for good measure. I’d like to think it shows growth, I definitely feel I’ve grown as a person and as a performer since Full Grown was released.
Are there lessons learnt from the first album you have been conscious not to repeat this time around?
I don’t think so, actually when I wrote the first album I was on some weird cleanse because I’d been really unwell so I had all these crazy headaches and dizzy spells in the studio haha thankfully I was better health wise this time around which made it easier. I guess I’ve learnt or at least tried harder to not be so hard on myself, it’s easy to be very critical when you listen to yourself on repeat for days on end. It helped to really enjoy the company of everyone I was working with.
With all the challenges of 2020 and 2021 what is the biggest thing you have learnt about yourself and your own resilience?
I think I’ve just tried my best to hold on to hope and keep chipping away at the dream. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t times when I let it all get on top of me, and at times it has hindered my motivation but for the most part I have just tried to be kinder to myself and not put so much pressure on myself, I’ve been focusing on doing what I can in the environment we’ve been given the last two years which has been writing and recording for me.
Are we likely to see more of Greta Stanley over the summer?
I sure hope so! We have plans for another single before the album lands early next year. Touring is on the cards for next year absolutely, but I’ll probably just spend Christmas and new year hanging out with my dogs, family and boyfriend.
Interview By Rob Lyon