SONGWRITER PAULA STANDING RECALLS FAMILY JAM SESSIONS WITH HER JUBILANT NEW SINGLE I’D GO BACK AGAIN
As we head into Christmas and summer, Paula Standing is looking back to her childhood, and drawing inspiration from early family jam-sessions and parties for her newest single, I’d Go Back Again. A bright, jubilant track, I’d Go Back Again aptly describes her memories of growing up with family and friends gathered around the piano singing, and dancing into the night. These memories made an indelible impact on Paula as a songwriter, and performer. Playing the track, you could be forgiven for feeling like you have stepped back in time and are part of that time, so clear are the descriptions of the memories.
For Paula, the parties her parents hosted during her childhood, filled with different songs, made music and singing attainable. “I never doubted for a moment growing up that I would be a singer and a musician,” she says. “I didn’t know where it would take me, but I knew I was going there, come what may. I was somewhat shocked to learn, on growing up, that not everyone had these sorts of parties. I can not imagine what life would have been without them. They were a highlight for me.”
The parties saw everyone singing, men and women dancing, drinks flowing, and the words to songs written on large pieces of card that were propped up on the piano so everyone could join in. The men drank beer and whisky, and the women opted for shandies, champagne or sherry. The scene is still so clear in Paula’s memory. “Standing in the circle with adults, they were always keen to put me in a place where I could see the charts,” she says. “I particularly loved Lilly The Pink, because all the men would do this linked arm dance during the chorus and make the floor shake. Peculiar what we think is hilarious and exciting when we are children.”
The track is co-written with Rod McCormack, Gina Jeffreys and Lou Bradley. When Paula was in the studio penning the tracks for her forthcoming album, The More I Give, Rod (McCormack), who produced all the tracks, encouraged her to share personal stories from her life. “The parties that were integral to my musical life was one story that I already had in my pocket before I arrived at the song camp,” she says. “They asked questions and when I mentioned Those Were The Days was one of the songs we used to sing, Rod suggested slanting the melody to a similar feel. With that, all of the factors of the party era were given a mention, the dancing the beer, whiskey, the songs, late nights, sleeping kids, half the town, the verandah – this was in Queensland, so an imperative part – along with the all-important piano.”
These experiences have shown Paula the importance of music in bringing people together, something that has continued to be a focus in her life, even during COVID-19. “I have had the privilege of being part of a local music scene that performs on a weekly basis on a live-to-air radio show,” she says. “This group spends time together rehearsing and forming different groups for different songs. This community had nurtured many upcoming performers, and everyone loves to see people grow and thrive. During the COVID lockdown, we could not meet to play, but this event has been happening for about 23 years, and even a pandemic could not kill it. We just recorded our songs on a device. This is the strength of a community built on playing music together, you can’t beat it.”
Keeping with the reminiscing, even the single cover harks back to another era. The artwork includes photo snapshots from one of the parties from Paula’s memory, including a special image from the first moon landing in 1969. The lyric video, that will be released along with the single, features more photographs from this time. To launch the single, Paula is hosting a virtual house party of her own, bringing together her musician friends to help launch the track via a live streaming jam-session. The session will go live at 3.30pm AEDT from Paula’s Facebook page.
Paula Standing’s new single I’d Go Back Again is released to radio on Friday 27th November 2020. Her forthcoming album The More I Give is slated for release in early 2021.