Busby Marou: The Great Divide

Busby Marou: The Great Divide

Rockhampton-based duo Busby Marou have won fans of all ages with their accessible country-folk. The festival favourites have built on their grass-roots base to arrive – as if by stealth – to occupy a much wider platform. This, their fourth studio album has crossed the great divide between the folk fringe and headline-worthy alt-pop.

Sing-along anthems roll out across 12 feelgood tracks. Thomas Busby (Queensland) and Jeremy Marou (Torres Strait Islands) share songwriting, vocal and instrumental duties. They grew up in parts of Australia ‘same-same’ but different. Making the most of similarities (musical influences and sharing the troubadour trail) they draw on the contrasting stories of their lives so far.

I first heard catchy radio hit ‘Over Drinking Over You’ on a dusty road trip of my own. Struck by the obvious commercial and enduring appeal, I wondered then if I’d ever see the pair on a small stage again.

Producer Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy) nails the balance between the organic and polish. You still hear two mates playing tunes by the campfire or singing along in the touring van. Their connection was strengthened further when visiting Marou’s father’s village on Mer (Murray Island). Influences of local music-making add to the mix. Lyrics reflect on love, family, life on Struggle Street, grief and hope. They build a celebratory bridge between the experiences of two worlds.

Warner Music Australia
Reviewed by Chris Lambie