The Australian group Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes has a new album out in the United States called Baby Caught the Bus. While their sound has been pegged as everything from gospel to doo-wop, the group really defies the confines of a musical category.
Lead singer Clairy Browne came in to talk with Weekend Edition Saturday Host Scott Simon about some of their influences and the inspiration behind a few tracks from the album. Above all, Browne attributes their retro sound to the music she grew up on. Her dad was in a band in South Africa, and she says the family was "always around the kitchen table with a guitar and four-part harmonies and playing on late into the night" - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (because of the aforementioned harmonies) and The Beatles (a favorite for her dad).
In just a few years, Browne went from teaching elementary school to performing at SXSW earlier this year. Two gigs that aren't such a far cry from one another in her mind.
"Sometimes it feels like taking out a group of grade six kids on an excursion and you're endlessly counting to make sure that you haven't lost one of them at the zoo on tour," she says.
In the interview, Browne also tells Simon why it's so hard to write happy songs and how performing for an audience makes her feel. The phrase "emotional group of weirdos" comes up, but you'll have to listen to the interview to get the back story on that one. You'll also hear several excerpts from the album, and no one will blame you if you need to get up and dance while you're listening.
On her way out, Browne struck a pose (with flare) for her NPR love shot.