Pamela Claire just released a massive soul record called "Lonely Sets me Free" and it's got the aesthetic of 70's soul funk and rock.
Claire's attitude vocally is shining and edgy while the band rocks on with loads of tasteful guitar tones and passionate performances.
Songs run the gambit of upswing bangers and classic organ laced ballads among others.
The album has a certain aura and feel that is completely nailed with each and every song. This is clearly a solid group of seasoned musicians as the guitars cry and whale while Claire belts and the two feed off each other to create something that feels like you're watching them live.
With such a solid album we had to sit down with Pamela Claire to talk about the record.
RAG: Okay Pamela, let's start things off with Lonely Sets Me Free. This album is huge and really does span several genres. Where did this come from?
Pamela: It comes from a love of music. All types. Growing up in a family of music lovers and being introduced to a wide variety of music as a child. 'Lonely Sets Me Free' has been described as my love letter to music. In many ways it is. I wrote the songs and shared these songs with my producer and arranger Justin Ossher who is a producer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer, music teacher and fellow music lover. When I shared these songs with Justin we discussed at length what was the potential of each song, as we felt it. We didn't set out to make a genre-bending album. We just gave each song it's own private universe to live in.
RAG: There is so much great instrumentation on the album, did it take a lot to get all the players together for the recording?
Pamela: Some of Melbourne finest players are on the album- Paul Bolger (Initial chart and arrangement consultant), Diego Villalta (Guitar), Adam Spiegel (Bass), Damien Ellis (Drums), Fabian Acuna (Trumpet), Carmen O'Brien (Violin), Luis Poblete (Percussion), Huw Gregory (Piano), Terry Mcleod (Sax). I was fortunate to catch these musicians in between take-offs. 'Lonely Sets Me Free' was a couple years in production, so it took time however I understood I had to wait in order to grow the work to its fullest potential.
RAG: Disco, soul, pop, jazz, and more! With so much on the album I wanted to ask. What artists really influenced you musically?
Pamela: Janis Joplin, Nina Simone, Tom Waits, Tori Amos, Nick Cave, P J Harvey, Donovan, Sharon Jones, Edith Piaf, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Shakespeares Sister, Jeff Buckley, Odetta, Cash, Cream, Deep Purple, The Who, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly....
RAG: How did this all begin for you?
Pamela: When I was 11, I played Fagin in the school musical 'Oliver'. I always sang and wrote songs but was happier behind a camera. For years I made music videos for other Australian artists and was a really happy member of the audience. However I got to a point in life where I needed to express myself, creatively, in a certain way. It started as a very personal, confessional project- for an audience of one, me! However with a lot of encouragement and support it grew over time. My husband Chris is a musician and offered loads of support and encouragement to develop the work. As a filmmaker, making my five music videos for 'Lonely Sets Me Free' allowed me to take the storytelling to a different place too. My good friend, writer and filmmaker Peter Galvin, was an artistic and creative support throughout the whole process. This project was an integration of all my passions, interests and experiences however it really began because people I respected, like Chris, Peter and Justin, gave me guidance, shared knowledge and showed the support I needed to let it grow.
RAG: Are you planning on performing live again when the time comes?
Pamela: Absolutely. I'm performing live on Dec 4th for the Female Voice Rock Film Festival opening night in New York, it will be online but still live! When Melbourne is allowed to music again, I'll be there.
RAG: What's next for you as an artist?
Pamela: Sharing the news about 'Lonely Sets Me Free' on vinyl and how the vinyl is now finding a home in many vinyl collections and its now in record shops! I have a bunch of new songs calling my name so I'm looking forward to working on new music.
RAG: What does someone like you do when you're NOT working on music?
Pamela: I seem to always be working on music but good times with friends and family and wide open spaces is important.
RAG: Are you particularly proud of how this release came out?
Pamela: I'm super grateful that the music, films and vinyl are connecting with people and finding a home in the world. 2020 has not behaved well at all so any listen or view in a world full of amazing music, from today and from yesteryear, is never lost on me. I'm very grateful for any time people have for new music and for 'Lonely Sets Me Free'.
RAG: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to say or express to your fans?
Pamela: Thank you for coming on the journey with me. Your support means so much. I hope to continue sharing the good news about the album's release, how the music videos are being screened in international festivals, the radio play in Australia and O.S and how vinyl collectors are enjoying discovering 'Lonely Sets Me Free' for the first time and making her their own. Your online support has helped make all of that happen. I'm eternally grateful and hope to play for you live real soon.