Track By Track: The Lonesome Sea – The Button Collective

Button Collection
Image Courtesy of The Button Collective

This Thursday 7th January Australian folksters The Button Collective will be releasing their brand new EP The Lonesome Sea. The EP was recorded by producer Steve Law at Sunroom Studio in Northern NSW and features two traditional and two original tunes.

After spending a couple of years in Sydney The Button Collective have traded in the security of the inner-city life to live on the road, travelling from festival to festival. As the name of the band would suggest the band is more of a collective, with members based up and down the east coast of Australia.

The Lonesome Sea features the entire Button Collective including Brodie Buttons (Vocals, Guitar), Quinton Trembath (Piano Accordion), Jake Pember (Double Bass), Ben Wilson (Banjo, Harmonica), Andrew Rickert (Violin), Christina Langham (Drums) and Jennifer Hankin (Flute).

The Button Collective’s frontman Brodie Buttons has kindly given Timber and Steel a little insight into each of the tracks on The Lonesome Sea.

“The Lonesome Sea” – I wrote this song aboard the 107ft two mast banks schooner that The Button Collective help crew every couple of months or so. Inspired by the hunger pains I was suffering after forgetting to bring any food aboard with me, I wrote about sailors suffering from scurvy and starving at sea while they reminisced about love left behind.

“The River, Pt. 2” – This song was written as a sequel to the song “The River” from our first album A Ship Sails. The original tells the story of a man who sails along his favourite river every day and learns to love it as a woman. After leaving the river to ramble the earth by land, the river becomes jealous and drowns him upon his return. This second part of the story is his apology to the river and tells of his newfound insight to its vulnerability and the damage it suffered due to his leaving.

“Paddy’s Lamentation” – This is an irish traditional about a “poor paddy” who flees his country of Ireland, leaving his farm and love to find a better life in America. Upon his arrival he is conscripted to the Union Army and sent to the battlefields of the American civil war. The chorus of this song is a warning to his pals back home not to make the same mistake as him.

“Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy” – This traditional song of the sea is a sailor’s last words to his love before embarking on a long voyage. He tells her of the perils he will face at sea to earn their wage. He finishes with the cruel irony of the hardships they still endure upon his return due to him having spent all his wages at the bar drinking to his wife and family back home, forcing him to once again return to sea.

The Lonesome Sea is available for streaming on Bandcamp and will be available for pre-order through Folk Til Ya Punk Records later this month. The Button Collective will be launching the EP at a bunch of gigs over the next month, including a massive show this Thursday in their hometown of Lismore. Check out the full list of dates below:

Thursday 7th January – Rooftop, Lismore, NSW
Sunday 10th January – The Union, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 14th January – Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January – Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW
Friday 22nd January – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 23rd January – Swamp Collective, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 31st January – Black Wire Records, Sydney, NSW

2 Comments

  1. January 8, 2016 at 14:19

    […] “I wrote this song aboard the 107ft two mast banks schooner that The Button Collective help crew every couple of months or so. Inspired by the hunger pains I was suffering after forgetting to bring any food aboard with me, I wrote about sailors suffering from scurvy and starving at sea while they reminisced about love left behind” – Brodie Buttons from The Button Collective takes us through their new EP The Lonesome Sea. Track by track here […]

  2. January 28, 2016 at 12:15

    […] couple of week The Button Collective gave Timber and Steel the exclusive first listen to their upcoming EP The Lonesome Sea and now we’ve been treated to their brand new video “Adieu Sweet Lovely […]


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