THE remote city of Tucson in America’s dust bowl was the inspiration for Siobhan Cotchin’s new single.
The WA singer-songwriter has never been to the Arizonan city, but perhaps it subconsciously struck a chord as WA’s hard border left us isolated from the rest of the world.
“Tucson took a while for me to write and perfect,” Cotchin says.
“At the time I was listening to a lot of Orville Peck and wanted to create a story of a character from one of his songs.
“Although I have never been to Tucson, the location is representative of living in any small town and feeling as though you cannot escape.
“The narrator of the story watches people come and go through their life whilst they remain stagnant and stuck. It’s a song about isolation and the reality of having your hopes and dreams crushed.”
Cotchin burst onto the Australian music scene in 2020, scoring multiple hits on Triple J with her infectious brand of alternative country-rock.
A swag of awards followed including Song of the Year and Best Country Act from the WA Music Association.
Then covid took hold and the inevitable self-doubt of following-up a string of hit singles.
“I think as an artist, there’s always pressure to continue to create better art and just be better than your last piece of work,” Cotchin reflects.
“I feel that after the success I had, there was some pressure, because I am so afraid of letting people down.
“I feel like people have high expectations when you win awards and get praised, and I think there’s always a part of me that is afraid of not living up to what people expect of me.
“I am also a real perfectionist and harsh on myself which is a good and bad thing.
“It’s important to strive to be the best but in a way that doesn’t involve negative self-talk and damaging your self-esteem. I try hard to make sure that I speak kindly to myself and remember that I am human and I play music because I love it, not for the validation of those around me.”
2022 is shaping up to be a big year for Cotchin; she’s teamed up with indie label Tone City Records and is back in the studio writing new material.
She’s also got an EP coming out that was recorded last year at Sundown Studios in O’Connor.
The singer-songwriter says she always writes the lyrics first, before working out the melody and chords, so she understands the emotion and intent of the song.
“Taylor Swift was the one artist that inspired me to start writing songs and I think without her, I wouldn’t be the songwriter that I am today,” Cotchin says.
“Her honest and emotional lyricism and catchy melodies really resonated with me and still do.
“Bruce Springsteen is another one of my heroes, I love the story telling aspect of his songs and he taught me that even though you haven’t experienced something, you can still write about it and write it from the heart.
“For all aspects of life, Dolly Parton influences me so much, I love her kindness, humour, style and of course her writing.”
Cotchin will launch her new single Tucson at Mojos Bar in North Fremantle tomorrow night (Sunday February 6).
The gig includes special guests Indoor Fins, Mia June and Queency. Tix at mojosbar.com.au/siobhan-cotchin-tucson-single-launch/
by STEPHEN POLLOCK