Singer-songwriter and guitarist Alison Ferrier is as humble as she is kind, a trait instantly recognisable as soon as she begins to speak.
Chatting to Forte on her day off, as well as her 15 th wedding anniversary [to husband and fellow musician Jeff Lang], Ferrier is elated about her newest release: her third long-play album What She Knows which boasts a crafted collection of atmospheric folk, laid-back country and rockin’ blues.
“Oh, it’s going really well, we’ve had some lovely reviews, with the best one so far from you guys,” she laughs. “It’s been really good, and people are really liking the album and that’s what it’s all about. I’m very happy with the response.”
Boosted by Ferrier’s clever electric riffs, What She Knows taps into her early British blues and rock influences, including Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, and follows Ferrier’s two previous releases, Sugar Baby (2012) and Be Here Now (2015).
“The first-time round [Sugar Baby], I didn’t have a band or anything, I was just playing solo mostly, while the last one [Be Here Now], I was playing with basically the members from The Stillsons; Cat Canteri, Justin Bernasconi and Ben Franz,” she explains of her previous releases.
“This time round, I just felt like it was time for a change. I never want to make the same album twice and I don’t have a regular band either,” she continues. “Sometimes I play solo, sometimes as a duo, and sometimes in a band, but this time I was thinking I’d really love to have Jeff [Lang] play in the band this time, rather than just produce it.”
Alongside Jeff Lang on guitars, Ferrier also included Ben Franz (The Waifs) on electric bass and pedal steel; Jason Bunn on viola; and Danny McKenna (Mia Dyson, Jeff Lang) and Ash Davies (Lisa Miller, Matt Walker) on drums for her third album.
“It’s the personnel that have made the album very different and now I’m just really finding my stride,” she beams. “I just feel like I’ve got control of things a lot more now and I know what I want and what I don’t want. I guess it’s a confidence thing; after making a few records, you start to get the hang of it a bit more and being in the studio isn’t so daunting.”
With a voice that is unadorned and inviting, this third release has Ferrier singing songs of nostalgia and the human condition, with observations on the universal emotions of everyday life. Despite how together the album sounds, Ferrier admits it has being a long journey for her in becoming comfortable with her sound.
“The first few times you hear your own voice back, it’s not the loveliest thing to hear,” she laughs. “Even if you just hear your voice recorded on a phone message, you cringe. The first records you make, it’s hard to hear yourself because you just pick yourself apart.
“This time around, I’m comfortable with the way I sound, I know if I’m doing the best I can, and I can listen back and go no I think I can do better than that singing wise, or I know whether I’m doing the best I can. I’m used to the sound of my voice now and sometimes I can even enjoy listening to it. The experience of making a few records certainly helps; it was really easy to do this time, it was a really easy process,” she smiles.
With her sights set on booking more shows over the coming months and sharing the album with her fans, the prolific songwriter and talented guitarist only intends to have fun with her music and even experiment with new sounds.
“I have got some new songs on the go, but I’ve also got some side projects on the go that I’m really excited about,” she smiles. “I’m in the process of getting together an experimental rock trio. It’s a very different kind of thing and I really feel like I want to think about that for a while, I’m right into that!”
Stay tuned for what’s to come. We can guarantee that anything created by Alison Ferrier will be worth the wait.
Written by Talia Rinaldo
Release: What She Knows is out now.