Bridgetown is Western Australia’s spiritual home of blues and roots, so it is no surprise that resident singer-songwriter Tracey Barnett has that music in her soul. Fusing traditional blues and country elements with modern rock rhythms, Barnett’s music has taken her across Australia, earning her a WAM Award, chart success, and airtime on Triple J, ABC and community radio. Ready to hit the road in September, Barnett is kicking off spring with a brand-new album, a swag of regional shows and a sizzling new track serendipitously named Freedom.
First making her presence felt in 2010, Barnett debuted with The First Of Many – a promising EP that introduced her authentic, heartfelt style. By 2013 her work was becoming more eclectic, and she captured a darker shade of her songwriting on the Blooming EP. Then, in 2017, Barnett reached the artistic milestone of a full-length album with the triumphant Heart, Soul, Feeling. Displaying more grit – lyrically and sonically – the album proved that Barnett’s songwriting was maturing and had reached a place unrestrained by convention.
Its follow-up (Barnett’s forthcoming second album Eyes Forward) has already spawned three successful singles – Gotta Get Out, Eyes Forward and Darkness In The Light – each nominated for a WAM Song Of The Year Award. Produced by James Newhouse, the album shows off Barnett’s ever-evolving songwriting, singing and guitar playing… not to mention the staggering arsenal she wields as a player (guitar, lap steel, resonator, banjo, harmonica, Hammond organ and percussion, thank you very much).
Out on August 20th 2021, Eyes Forward’s fourth single – Freedom – is what Barnett half-jokingly refers to as a ‘therapy song’… something that she created to exorcise a demon within herself. She explains, “I wrote Freedom as a message to a part of myself I was trying to let go of. I needed to find a sense of freedom and stop being held back.” This honesty and catharsis is only part of what gives the song its power… with its stomping rhythms and soaring vocals, Freedom is a barn-burning slice of the blues, itching to be unleashed on a live audience.
And it will be given its chance to shine during the Eyes Forward Album Launch Tour, where Barnett will visit nearly a dozen WA towns throughout September and October 2021. A multi-instrumentalist with powerful stage presence, Barnett is best witnessed in concert. Throughout her career she has made the conscious decision to remain solo, and as a result has created a closeness between her and her audience. This connection, along with her sheer instinct for songwriting, is what makes Tracey Barnett one of the most exciting modern blues artists in Australia.
Bridgetown – Western Australia, Australia
Tracey Barnett – vocals, guitar, harmonica