Ebony Buckle is a London-based singer/songwriter, originally from her tropical seaside home of Townsville, Australia. Writing and performing with her husband, musician Nick Burns, who also produces her music, Buckle uses captivating stories to hold a mirror up to herself and the world. Reflected in these songs is our humanity – our wants and needs, our struggles to fit in or break out. Throughout all of this is the hope that we can connect, that we can see the magnificent beauty of our universe and that we can grow and learn and evolve without fear.

From a poem to a song, the whimsical “Wild Woman” makes a minimal, haunting entrance giving off a timeless, magical aura. The choir of layered vocals emit an angelic echo, while moments of opera displayed in a fluid, godly arrangement, mirror a dance as her powerful wild woman takes center stage. The instrumentation carries a tense and powerful drum beat, folk-glowing guitar and a selection of affecting strings that cradle the soundscape. 

Tell us about the genesis of your project. How did you get to where you are now?

This album, Disco Lasers, has been a few years in the making. A few years of trying to figure myself and the universe out, moving from one existential crisis to another and learning to own my creativity and take up space in the world. I’ve always been interested in stories and folklore and how these tales reflect the truth of the world around us. There are deep truths that we carry within us. The album is really a collection of stories that I either made up (The Planet Who Believed She Was A Star), or wrote because I was inspired by something I read (Wonder). I wanted to take people on a journey this year through different worlds. Each song has its own music video/short film and so by the end of this year I will have an audio-visual album which will allow people to immerse themselves in the music and the stories we have created. 

How would you describe the highs and lows of being an artist? 

I can’t speak for other artists but for me, it’s a wonderful and terrifying rollercoaster. Being vulnerable is essential for creativity and it’s also the thing that often feels the most scary. I’ve learned alot about how fragile creativity can be when overworked. This year has been so wonderful, being able to release so much music and collaborate with some incredible people. It’s also been very exhausting and I’ve been working on allowing myself to slow down and switch off sometimes so that I can fill my cup back up.  I’m a very sensitive person and often see that as a bad thing. It means I feel everything, the good and the bad. But I’ve realised that that is the part of me that the music comes from and so it’s important for me to stay open. Put up boundaries yes, but not shut things out. 

The thing that I struggle with the most, and I know a lot of other artists feel this way, is the demand to be constantly putting out content on social media. Not just any content either, it needs to be interesting and quirky and look like you just did it on a whim even if it took you four hours and you ended up in tears because your reel kept self-deleting. The problem is that all this often comes at the expense of genuine creativity and takes up the space that is needed to let inspiration come. 

I’ve had to take a step back and try not to worry too much about the latest algorithm news. The most important thing for all of us is to do what feels right to us and represents us authentically. There are so many voices out there telling you what you need to be doing and sometimes you just have to cover your ears and come back to who you are and why you decided to do this thing in the first place. For me, music is the way I make sense of the world and myself. It feels like the truest way of explaining who I am.

What’s a musical guilty pleasure of yours?

I don’t ever feel guilty about the music I like…but I would say the thing I like to dance to and sing at the top of my lungs is ABBA! Super Trouper particularly. 

What are some sources of inspiration for you?

I write a lot of poetry. With my Patreon, I share a new poem every week and often one of those poems will become a song. My music sometimes comes out of a very personal feeling; I will just sit at the piano and see what comes out. Otherwise, I will read a story that inspires me. I like to read New Scientist magazine and a lot of my songs come from an article there. Actually, I’ve just realised the title of my album, Disco Lasers, was inspired by an article in the New Scientist! I like singing about things like whales or planets, and bringing a human element to them.  

Who is an artist that you look up to more than others?

I’ll always be amazed by Kate Bush. She is so unashamedly herself. Her songs and stories are so unique and that’s something I always want to try to be. 

Tell us about your latest release and how it came about

Wild Woman is the 6th track from my album. I read a book last year called “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and it really changed the way I thought about myself and the world. It helped me connect and listen to my wild soul. In her own words: When women reassert their relationship with the wildish nature, they are gifted with a permanent and internal watcher, a knower, a visionary, an oracle, an inspiratrice, an intuitive, a maker, a creator, an inventor, and a listener who guide, suggest, and urge vibrant life in the inner and outer world”. 

This song is a plea to my inner Wild Woman to stay with me now that I have found her again. The song started as a poem that I shared with my Patreon and very quickly we put it to music. When we came to ilming the music video, I asked an amazing actor and dancer I have worked with at The National a few years ago to be my Wild Woman. Her name is Eva Magyar and she is incredible. She choreographed the dance for the video. She has a strength and a presence that I hope to one day possess. 

What are some things you do to stay inspired?

Most of the time when I feel anxious or drained, it’s because I’ve been overdoing things. When I’m tired, my defenses come down and it’s easier to let the negative thoughts and voices in. It’s very much a work in progress but I’m trying more and more to allow myself time off, time to be quiet and to let my worries go. Practically, some things that help me are yoga, walking and writing out all my thoughts until they become a little calmer. Life is cyclical and so I think it’s normal that creativity ebs and flows and that’s ok. 

What are your projects for the future?

 As far as this year goes, we still have four more tracks coming out. My album officially comes out later this year and we have an album launch party on the 11th of November at The Pheasantry! We are filming more music videos and writing more music. Longterm, my dream is to grow the community I have on Patreon, so that I can remain an independent artist and keep making music and releasing it and doing shows and I’m so excited to perform live again! Performing is one of my favourite things. I would love to tour the world singing my music…that would be a dream! 

What inspires your visuals, videos, looks etc?

Many many things. I love dressing up. For most of lockdown I decided to wear a different colour for each day of the week and got very dressed up to go downstairs. I love charity shopping because you never know what you might find. 

This year I have been so lucky to work with an amazing designer Wesley Schol, who has been creating my costumes for all of my music videos and future live shows. We generally go with the theme of an interdimensional astronaut warrior who has lost touch with her home world and also loves bright colours and shiny fabric. The music videos were created with the incredible animator and editor Luke Taylor and the cinematographer Sky Zhou. Each song has a different feel in order to tell the specific story. By the end of this year I will have a film of the album! I think because my songs tell specific stories, the visual element is really important. 

What is the most embarrassing memory and most proud moment of your career so far ?

Most embarrassing memory…I have quite a few I’m sure. I’ve often gone to give someone a high five when they weren’t offering one. But it’s probably the time I forgot the lyrics of a song during a children’s Christmas musical. The line was supposed to be “Dick and Dom” but I panicked and just yelled “Dick” at a very confused audience of under 10s.

What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Women who run with the Wolves

Where do you think the music and entertainment industry is headed after this past year?

I have no idea. I think we just have to keep going and creating things and sharing them. That’s the most important thing. The world is very divided and I think sometimes we forget how powerful empathy and love are. Stories help us understand each other and reconcile our differences and so I think there will always be music and art and entertainment, even when we are told to retrain or made to feel like what we do isn’t important. It is important and it won’t go anywhere.