Headlights or Goodbyes
Headlights and Goodbyes is the single and title track off a new EP from North Coast folk-rocker Cheynne Murphy being launched with his band at the Rails, Sunday December 02. Recorded in the hills of Byron Bay, the EP also features guest guitar from Jeff Martin of Canadian rock band The Tea Party. Jeff who now resides in Byron Shire heard the song playing from producer Paul Pilsneniks home studio, and offered to play a final part to the track. Cheynne describes the moment as “pretty amazing as Jeff Martin is not only of my favourite vocalists but he is also an incredible guitarist and inspired me to pick up the 12-string guitar. It was very surreal”. He ended up playing on five of the six tracks adding to the adroit guitars already laid down by accomplished local musician Mark Heazlett.
Headlights and Goodbyes explores the notion of moving forward with the simultaneous feelings of nostalgia and a yearning for what is being left behind. As Cheynne explains: “ The concept is the idea that our memory is like a rearview mirror. Perhaps there are things that do need to be addressed from the past in order to move forward. Ultimately though we are all looking to the headlights to what is coming ahead. Nostalgia and sentimentality can offer warm and comforting feelings, but sometimes we can get stuck there. Stuck in the past if we don’t let it go.” The song explores the lyrical theme of making empowering choices to leave negative situations and the sobering acknowledgement that ultimately we can never turn back the time. In this case it is a story of domestic violence and the struggle of the pain of saying goodbye but also the freedom in letting go.
The title track co-written with long-time collaborator and also drummer on the record, Carl Hemmings (aka The Greater Tapestry) represents another page in their 20 year history of song-writing. “We first started writing together in bands in Sydney and got signed to Warner Chappell as songwriters. We have continued to exchange lyrics, chords, and arrangement ideas to help refine the songs. Hopefully it shows in the end result.”
Headlights and Goodbyes is a loose rollicking, harmony fuelled, folk-rock EP in the vein of Californian soul bands like the Eagles, America and Crosby Stills Nash and Young. This EP represents the next step in a critically acclaimed songwriting career for Cheynne which has included a Bluesfest appearance, television performances, songwriting awards and a recent nomination as song-writer of the year in the North Coast Entertainment Industry Associations’ (NCEIA) songwriter of the year category.
Cheynne joined forces to record the EP with local collaborators including engineer and producer Paul Pilsneniks (Angus Stone, Bernard Fanning, Pete Murray, The Tea Party), fellow singer-songwriter Mark Heazlett on harmonies and guitars, Mat Akehurst on drums and Ben Brennan (Seven) on Bass. The band launches the EP at The Rails, Sunday, December 2.