REVIEW

Could this be our Valla troubadour's magnum opus?

Three years ago singer-songwriter and storyteller Snez left her frosty existence in the beautiful Blue Mountains and travelled north to warm her bones.

She, partner in love and music Stewart Peters, and young daughter Ellie, found a place to call theirs in sunny Valla.

"And we haven't looked back, it's been lovely," she said.

Since then, Snez has been delighting our ears and warming our hearts with honest and evocative portraits of her life and the weathered souls who've left impressions upon it.

Between gigging and mumming, it's been a challenge to find the time to put pen to paper and finish the album that's been brewing in her mind for five years.

So when the pandemic immobilised the live music industry this year, the silver lining was that Snez no longer had reason to delay its completion.

'Winter song' is the first single release from her long awaited fourth studio album which will drop next Wednesday, October 28.

"Winter song is like a farewell to the Blue Mountains," she said.

"I loved living there - the environment, the people, the culture - everything but the cold.

"So it's sort of cathartic. Emotionally it felt like the right song to release first."

In February Snez will release the new 'Fisher on the Sea' album in its entirety.

"It's been a long time coming," she said.

The last album I released was just after Ellie was born, all the while thinking I might never write a song again. My brain just wasn't functioning the same, post-baby.

But there've been other obstacles to navigate too.

This album marks the first time Snez will stand alone as a solo artist.

Previously, Stewart was the strings to her voice, and the pair would collaborate while writing songs.

"After Ellie was born Stewart decided to step back from performing and, I realised, it's just bare bones - you've got nothing but yourself now," she said.

So she honed her guitar craft and she looked inwardly to find the kind of storyteller she wanted to be.

"Previously I hid behind a facade of being 'a gypsy soul' - and I had the stage outfits to match - but deep down I knew it was all a show," she said.

"I had to dig down into my authentic self, and that usually always comes from lived experience."

Fisher on the Sea explores her parents' migration journey from Macedonia and her childhood upbringing in industrial Port Kembla.

"Mum was 16-years-old when she came to Australia, leaving her family behind," she said.

"After migrating Dad worked on the railways and the steelworks - it was a hardcore life but they never questioned it.

"We lived not too far from the smoke stack of the steelworks which blew soot all over us, and all over everyone's clean laundry. The primary school was on the same site as the stack.

"It was a disadvantaged suburb and one of the roughest schools in the area - but you don't know that at the time, you just live it.

"Mum and Dad both had an incredibly strong work ethic - being a musician? Where does that fit into all of that? I was meant to be a real estate agent," she laughs.

Her album gives a voice to a slice of Australia which is slowly fading, and to characters who would otherwise never have been given a voice.

Snez is excited and nervous in equal measures about the release of 'Fisher on the Sea'.

My feelings about the new album waver with how insecure I'm feeling on any given day, but some days I feel like this is the best music I've ever written.

"All of my emotions are injected into it, so yeah, this is more authentically me."

Pre-sales are available now for Fisher on the Sea, at snez.com.au

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This story Could this be our Valla troubadour's magnum opus? first appeared on Guardian News.