On the released of her debut album, River of Sins, Camille Trail talks us through each individual track: the creation, sentiment, and everything in between.
Singer-songwriter, Camille Trail was born, raised and still lives and works on her family’s cattle farm west of Rockhampton, Central Queensland. She was introduced to the joy of music at an early age, listening to her parent’s favourites like Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Kasey Chambers, Chuck Berry, Fleetwood Mac and Shane Nicholson. She learned piano from the age of eight and was soon writing her own songs.
After graduating from JMC Academy in Brisbane, where she studied songwriting, she released her debut single Humming Chain in 2019. Her second single Devil’s Drink peaked at #19 on the Hot 50 Charts. Little History and the duet, Holding Pattern with Brad Butcher followed. The latter peaked at #6 on the Countrytown Music Network Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart and achieved over 100,000 streams.
On the release of her debut album, River of Sins, produced by Shane Nicholson, we’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Camille talks us through each individual track: the creation, sentiment, and everything in between.
Humming Chain was written whilst I was studying at JMC Academy from a brief ‘write a historical song’. I was in love with gospel music at the time and immediately fell into writing about the African American Slavery. I wanted the song to be confronting and in-your-face so I used harsh and dark imagery in the lyrics. I wanted the listener to feel almost as if they’re being questioned, “you don’t feel no pain”, “you don’t catch hell’s rain”. I wanted the song to provoke thought. Production wise Fleetwood Mac was a huge influence for this song.
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I Know I’m Hard to Love is the most vulnerable track on the record. I was extremely nervous releasing this song and letting the world in on my most hurtful heartbreak, which is usually something very personal. I had just been dumped and was in an Uber at 3am riding home, balling my eyes out. The next morning, I woke up feeling heartbroken, hungover and very sorry for myself. That’s when I wrote the line ‘I know I’m hard to love, but I want you to try’. Throughout the progression of writing the song, I realised that while, yes, I can be hard to love sometimes, I am worth trying for, so the song does end up having a nice happy ending.
6 O’Clock is a song about two people where timing has never worked out. They come to the conclusion of letting their love go, as it’s wasted and maybe not worth it if it doesn’t hurt. It’s a mutual decision and a ‘lets have one last final drink’ to say it’s all gone and it’s time to move on. Shane Nicholson features on this song, however, going into the studio, this song was never going to be a duet. Shane suggested that it’s usually a good idea to have a guest artist appear on your record, so looking at all the tracks to convert to a duet, this one jumped out.
I Don’t Like You is the sassy track of the record. It’s a driving country tune about a charismatic ex who should’ve been avoided. He had done some very questionable things and upon asking for a second chance, I realised that I didn’t actually like him very much after all and he didn’t like me either. Easy.
Deal With The Devil is a sultry mix of blues and gospel, a song you sit and listen to with a whiskey in hand. Growing up, the piano was the first instrument I started playing, even before I started singing. Every time I sit at a piano it feels like home, so I wanted my album to include my piano roots. This song is a soulful plea, singing you’ve ‘made a deal with the devil’, ‘I played with evil’ and is also where the album title came from.
Mary is a haunting acapella track that signals halfway of the record, a song that brings back your focus and attention. This song was originally written about a dear friend who unfortunately had a brain tumour. However, the song took on new meaning after it was a personal favourite of my dear Nana, who sadly passed away. I was very close with my Nana so this is a very special song to me that will always make me think of her. This song is dedicated to Betty Trail.
Little History is a laid back, upbeat song about letting go of your troubles for the moment and having a few drinks with friends. Released at the peak of COVID-19, this song is one everyone can relate to, and maybe try to follow. This song was actually prompted by my Dad. He said “Camille, you’re a country music singer and you haven’t written a drinking song”. So I got writing and Little History was born.
I realised I wrote a lot of sad songs, so I decided to write a happy love song. At the time I had been in love, but not the stop you in your tracks kind of love. I wrote the song thinking about what you would say to someone if you had that crazy kind of love and after recording it and playing it live, I realised that it was actually a love song to myself. At the end of the day, you are the only person who can be there for you in every single moment of your life. So, Oh Darling is my love song to myself.
Devil’s Drink is a mysterious Americana song that speaks of trying to outrun something following you – whether it’s a person or a fear – and how you just can’t shake it off, no matter what you do. I struggle with anxiety so, for me, the song is about trying to shake it off.
San Antone is another blues gospel track on the album. The entire song is building up to the moment when a gospel choir breaks out, wailing cello and belting vocals sail over the choir, then eases back to the acoustic piano and voice. The song is about keeping on keeping on. It’s the "we’ve got everything, we need to keep pushing through" kind of attitude.
Holding Pattern is a unique track on the album, being the only song I didn’t write. It was written by Shane Nicholson, Matt Benbrook and Amy Lawton in London. I fell in love with the song when I first heard it and knew we had to record it. Due to COVID lockdowns, Brad and I weren’t able to get to the studio, so our vocals were recorded in our clothes cupboard! I personally struggled with recording my vocals in a cupboard due to the cows outside being very noisy, birds squawking and one pesky mosquito buzzing around my head.
This song is about two lovers who have gone their separate ways with things that are unsaid. It’s that awkward stage where you want to drive back to their house and tell them everything that’s on their mind, but you’re not sure if you should.