International songwriting finalist Rachael Brady hails from Katoomba

Listen to the rocking, gothic, visceral and spooky number that's made the shortlist in an international songwriting competition and you will feel proud it hails from the Blue Mountains.

International songwriting finalist Rachael Brady: Trainwreck is a "foot-stomping ode to desire and doomed relations", she said.

International songwriting finalist Rachael Brady: Trainwreck is a "foot-stomping ode to desire and doomed relations", she said.

International songwriting finalist Rachael Brady: Trainwreck is a "foot-stomping ode to desire and doomed relations", she said.

International songwriting finalist Rachael Brady: Trainwreck is a "foot-stomping ode to desire and doomed relations", she said.

Katoomba-based Rachael Brady is proud of it too and is hoping her song Trainwreck cuts through with the online audience to beat out the other 14 finalists in the popular vote for the American category of the International Songwriting Competition 2021.

"The ISC is a US-based comp and is judged by music industry heavyweights like Coldplay and Tom Waites, as well as record label executives from EMI, Columbia and Atlantic among others. Australian artist Vance Joy won the Overall Grand Prize in 2014 with his song Riptide ... it's quite prestigious," she added.

The news certainly provided her with some joy, "given the beating live music has taken with the pandemic".

More than 120,000 entries were received. Two other Australians are in the finals in her category - established country acts, Shane Nicholson as well as Caitlin Harnett & the Ponyboys.

Brady is currently recording her fourth studio album Bears, Witches & Wolves with Blue Mountains-based producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Schuberth (Josh Pyke, Sara Storer, Shane Nicholson). And she is performing at the Baroque Room, supporting the hometown debut album launch of Blake Dantier on Friday March 25 in Katoomba from 8pm.

Brady said her voice "isn't sweet, high or perfect ... it's a voice that sings its scars and imperfections. It'll probably sing some of yours too." And she added her music "speaks to the mess, heartache, jubilation and ultimately, the beauty of our humanness".

Trainwreck is a "foot-stomping ode to desire and doomed relations", she said.

"It's about the intense and immediate infatuation you can experience seeing someone without even knowing who they really are. Is it pheromones? Is it biology? Past lives? Who knows? You have an idea it might not end well, but go ahead and indulge anyway".

The album is a marked change from her previous folk/roots offerings and finds her exploring a darker Americana soundscape. She describes it as "southwestern, gothic-noir journey of love, life and death with distinctly witchy, medicine-woman, runs-with-wolves overtones".

Brady, 50, has been living in the Mountains since 2008. She said she was also lucky enough to have two other songs she wrote make it to the semi-finals - three songs across four categories.

"Placing in this competition would be phenomenal, but I'm happy to have made it this far and I'll certainly be entering again regardless of this year's outcome.

"It's satisfying, especially at this juncture when women tend to disappear, to have Trainwreck acknowledged in such a way. I'm really proud of these new sounds - perhaps more so than I've ever been of my music. "

The finals were announced last week. Voting closes April 22: https://songwritingcompetition.com/peoplesvoice~category-3.

She said after a year of not playing due to lockdowns, "it's a new chapter and I'm feeling excited for what it might bring. I'm really excited to be supporting Blake. I hope people will come out and support some live and local music."

Dantier's long awaited debut country album Dry Season has four self-penned singles, which earned him a top 50 spot on Australia's national Country airplay chart (CountryTown Hot 50). He even attracted the attention of Adam Harvey, who duets with him on the Spotify-only release, You Don't Mix Whiskey.