Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Chloe Styler: 'There's A Space In Nashville For Any Australian That Really Wants It'

1 August 2023 | 11:01 am | David James Young

"The industry over there is very supportive. It'd be interesting to see if someone who sings with the full Aussie accent could make it. If they can? Power to them."

Chloe Styler

Chloe Styler (Source: Supplied)

More Chloe Styler More Chloe Styler

Like many other artists circa 2020, the year ahead didn't go quite as planned for Chloe Styler.

The Gold Coast-based country artist was on the verge of putting out her debut album, with everything ready to go. The pandemic, naturally, had other plans – but luckily, so did Styler herself. “It became pretty clear quite quickly it just wasn't going to be the right time,” she says – speaking to Countrytown from the passenger seat on a road trip to Hervey Bay with her mum.

“I didn't feel like I was in a position to go ahead with what we'd originally intended. I'd had the songs specifically mastered for vinyl, so they came in two Dropbox folders – Side A and Side B. I figured I may as well get them out there as EPs – and now, with Side B about to come out, I'm really happy with that decision. It's what was best for me and where I was at, and it still allows me to have another shot at a debut album for some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future.”

Side A was released in November 2022, featuring the first five tracks of the would-be album and two acoustic versions as bonuses. Nearly eight months later, Side B arrives on Friday. Logic would dictate that the EP essentially picks up where Side A left off, but since creating the schism between the prospective LP's two separate sides, Styler has noticed distinct personalities that have been generated as a result of these distinct groupings. “The overarching story was the processing of a breakup,” she explains.

“Now that I look at them as EPs, I feel like Side A and Side B are telling different aspects of it. Side A is a lot about the frustration of going through it with guys – I co-wrote Girlfriend on that EP with Sarah Buckley [of sibling band The Buckleys], who is incredible, and we had a lot of fun writing that one. We'd both seen a lot in our time dating through our early 20s. Side B, I think, has a bit more growth and maturity to its songs. It really feels like moving on, in a way. These songs acknowledge that yes, I was sad, but now I'm looking forward, and I'm OK with it.”

The mention of working with Buckley prompts the conversation to turn to Styler's other co-writers. She is quick to sing the praises of those she has worked with throughout the course of bringing Side A and Side B to life and notes that regardless of who you're collaborating with – and regardless of whether it's fruit-bearing or not – “there's always something to learn”.

Join our community with our FREE weekly newsletter

“I just find it such an amazing process,” she says. “There aren't many lines of work where you're in a situation where you walk into a room with someone you don't know and then have to come up with something entirely new from scratch within three hours.

“I get different things out of each writer I work with. Jason Resch was someone I worked with on Vaguer Than Vegas on Side A and Hometownless on Side B. We have a very similar style of writing insofar as we pore over our lyrics. We always try to really convey what we're trying to say, and with that comes a lot of nerdy wordplay and rhyming and syllables – we just feed off that sort of stuff, he and I.

“There's another song on Side B called Light Years which I co-wrote with my producer, Andy Mac. That was a really interesting process because the song was done, but I didn't really like it. It was this sad and emotive song, but I'd written it on guitar, and I felt like it wasn't really portraying what I wanted it to. Andy jumped on the piano, and in doing so, completely changed the whole feeling. He made it feel really beautiful, and helped me add a bridge as well – he basically resurrected that song from the dead!”

Though she's headed for Queensland seaside as she talks to Countrytown, Styler is fresh from a visit to the big smoke of Nashville – where she performed at the city's CMA Fest as one of only five Australian acts on the entire bill. Given country music has become such a hot commodity of late, and more local artists are shooting for the moon in terms of an international profile, Styler is queried on what she made of being an Aussie abroad in the home of American country music.

“It's interesting... I don't think the market is looking for really ocker Aussie country music at the moment, but they love Australians over there,” she says. “You open your mouth to speak over there, and you've immediately got five new best friends that want to hear how you pronounce every single word.

“Watching the Aussies at CMA Fest, the crowd really warmed to it. I do think there's a space in Nashville for any Australian that truly wants it. The industry over there is very supportive. It'd be interesting to see if someone who sings with the full Aussie accent could make it. If they can? Power to them.”

Aussie country music success internationally isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility – a Kasey Chambers song was in an episode of The Sopranos once, after all, and Fanny Lumsden just performed at Glastonbury. “She's setting such a fantastic example,” Styler beams. “I hope another Aussie country artist is over there next year singing about peeing in the pool!”

Chloe Styler’s ‘Side B’ EP will be released this Friday, 4 August. You can pre-save it here.