Australian singer-songwriter CJ Shaw has indulged his love of trains with the creative direction of his new ‘Lonely Road’ music video.
A song that features on CJ’s 2021 album ‘All Sorts’ (a mix of his contemporary Australian-influenced country-folk originals and children’s songs – he’s an ARIA Award-nominated primary school teacher), ‘Lonely Road’ is a collaboration with film and television composer Allyson Newman (“The L Word: Generation Q”, “Kusama: Infinity”).
A chance encounter during Newman’s return to Australia in 2020, saw her generously lending her expertise to an orchestral take on the song.
A soothing, laid-back whistle opens the proceedings before CJ’s earthy, melodically rich vocals bring a sonic warmth that wraps around you, his wordplay enriching the mind with vivid imagination.
The subtle, graceful strumming of acoustic guitar is married to an exquisite piano riff that creates a lo-fi country western soundtrack.
Violin and cello arrangements (performed by Alex Voorhoeve and Timothy Wickham of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra) and backing vocals by Hannah Czaban add a hauntingly soulful underlay to the final song, which was written as a parable for the CJ’s experience of the world of music and the feeling of failure.
The music video, directed by award-winning director/producer Stackhat (Sampa The Great, L-Fresh The Lion), is simply stunning in its raw beauty, capturing the desolation of the song’s vibe with a mesmerizing vision of Monaro Plains, south of Canberra. , alongside CJ’s vision as a conductor filmed at the Canberra Railway Museum and Michelago Station.
Ahead of the video’s release tomorrow (September 8), scenestr is thrilled to present the music video for “Lonely Road” today. Enjoy.
Shot in the dead of winter, the music video sees Shaw play a train guard, walking through deserted railway carriages, waiting for passengers who never arrive. “I’ve always been a big fan of trains and train travel,” says CJ.
“Between 2008 and 2011 I organized a series of tours with the XPT (Express Passenger Train). I traveled between Sydney and Brisbane, hopping in each city along the way to play shows.
“I reveled in the chance to shoot the [‘Lonely Road’] video at the Canberra Railway Museum.
“Being a fan of old and new trains, this was a wonderful shoot in the old 1901 sleeper car. The detail of the craftsmanship is amazing and comes through beautifully in the clip.”
Stackhat adds: “It was a joy to bring the haunting music and poignant lyrics of ‘Lonely Road’ to life.
“The geography of the Monaro Plains is equally beautiful and austere, as is the song itself.”