Photo by Sean Clohesy Photography
Building a song #101
‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ is the first single from talented duo Mick Pealing and Nick Charles (or PealingCharles as they are styled) and it’s worth the wait. They have been gracing the circuit in Melbourne (Australia) for a few years now, amassing a dedicated following. The industrious pair spent the extended COVID lockdown period composing songs for their upcoming album (at a safe distance of course!). Talking about the inspiration for the song, Mick explains:
“The song started with the title and then came the theme about not giving up hope in this f*cked up existence. The lyrics came quickly after we figured out the direction.”
The lyrics do indeed convey a sense of hopefulness through troubled times, something we’ve all been familiar with these past few years. It’s a song of reflection and acceptance, and as the title suggests, solutions that are often right in front of us. The melody supports this theme with soulful notes hinting at the blues.
“It’s a bluegrass setup instrument wise” Mick says,.”Guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, bass and vocals”.
All of the instruments are beautifully showcased, with Nicks’ customary brilliance on guitars, and Stars newest bandmate Ed Bates lending a hand on pedal steel. Mick’s emotive vocals bring the words and melody together and we are lulled into a sense of peaceful bonhomie.
You can’t help but love this song. It has been a delightful listen when played live with just Mick, Nick and their guitars during ‘test runs’, and wonderful to now hear the fullness of the studio recording. The additional instruments fill out and enhance the song, yet still retain the magic of the acoustic version. It certainly holds the promise of an album rich with the talents of Messrs. Pealing and Charles.
So who are Mick Pealing and Nick Charles?
Well, I could fill several pages with their impressive CVs, and I will of course expand for the album review, but in a nutshell…
They are both members of Australian Country Rock band Stars. Mick has been a member since the bands inception in the 1970s, with Nick joining as guitarist when the band reformed 5-6 years ago, heralding the beginning of a Pealing/Charles led songwriting team.
Nick is one of Australia’s premier blues and roots guitarists with several solo albums and a swathe of international tours to his credit. Mick meanwhile, is widely regarded as one of Australia’s finest vocalists (the nickname ‘Golden Tonsils’ has stuck for many years) . He’s fronted a number of bands and other ensembles following the split of the original Stars in 1979, as well appearing regularly as a radio host.
And finally, an album!
It’s no surprise then, that these two would turn their minds to an album showcasing their talents as an acoustic duo. The fruits of their labours, ‘Songs From this Town’ is currently in production with a release date in early 2023. It leans toward Americana with roots, blues, country, soul and rock in the mix. The album launch is on Feb 5, 2023 at Brunswick landmark, The Lomond Hotel, will be a hoot, and undoubtedly a packed house!
In the meantime though, wrap your ears around an early Christmas present in the single ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’. There’s no doubt it will whet your appetite for more from PealingCharles.
Where you can find them…
And if you are interested (and you should be!) check out their other projects…