Stay Lucky by David Stevenson
Stay Lucky looks like what you’d end up with if someone from the inner west in Sydney and America’s deep south had a baby. He’s a smooth crooning, tattooed cowboy with all the stylings of a traditional countryman but with a modern twist – a white, resonator guitar slung around his shoulder and a matching cream Akubra on his head.But Stay Lucky is from neither of those places. He’s actually from NSW’s Northern Rivers – a harbour of rolling hills, dark nights and open fields. Perhaps the perfect backdrop to the type of music he produces, which he describes as, “Melancholy country, Americana folk…Or Ukelele screamo.”
Not much has been written about him. Even a simple Google search won’t turn up many results. Yet his debut single, “How I Loved You Then”, released just this year, has turned the heads of the VICE team.With country music moving slowly back into the mainstream pipeline, artists like Stay Lucky – who’s been likened to the sound of Father John Misty – are modernising the leisurely and dulcet genre famously known to conceive imagery of deep romantic love, cigarettes, bourbon and nights alone. In fact, in good old cowboy spirit, he tells VICE, “I love writing these songs, I love playing quiet, moody rooms and the local open mic night.” Though not much is known of Stay Lucky at this point, he was a kid who, growing up, was without any other creative bodies in his family. Though he’d always sung, it wasn’t until the tender age of 17 that he picked up a guitar.
Through the help of open mic nights, and a solid back-up band known as The Concrete Cowboys, he now focuses on music as a form of cathartic expression and vulnerability.“I guess I hope that people can exhaust some of their own feelings through listening to my songs. But you know, tap a toe and slide along too,” he tells VICE.And though his career has only just begun, he’s taking it moment by moment.
“I haven’t set any real expectations on myself, I'm tackling this mountain one song at a time currently,” he says.“So, I'm going to keep on pouring myself into these little diddys and sonnets of experience and if anybody likes it enough to sing along, then we just fill the holes with a little more sound.”Follow VICE Spotlight on Spotify for a weekly rotation of some of Australia’s best upcoming artists. This week: Ashli, Sevn Aguarda, Mog.Y, OX4ORD, VOLDY, Kirby, Dylan Atlantis, Harry Hayes + more. Follow Julie Fenwick on Twitter and Instagram.Read more from VICE Australia and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, This Week Online.