FEEL GOOD: Jack Ladder is in brighter spirits in the lead-up to album number four.
FEEL GOOD: Jack Ladder is in brighter spirits in the lead-up to album number four.

It's one wrung at a time on this Ladder

IT'S hard to imagine Jack Ladder singing with light and colour.

But that's exactly what he has planned for the follow up to Hurtsville.

Ladder (or Tim Rogers) released the somewhat sombre, yet incredibly moving, Hurtsville in July, 2011.

The depth of his baritone vocal means he's often compared to Nick Cave.

Before talking to Ladder, I made two mental notes: don't mention Ladder's real name is the same as the frontman of You Am I and don't compare his voice to Nick Cave. It's been done and he doesn't like it.

At times like this, research serves you well.

Avoiding those two topics, I speak to Ladder while he's at home somewhere nestled in the Blue Mountains working on album number four.

Hurtsville was recorded on an estate in Yass.

The 'castle' where it was recorded made for a great sound, giving it a great reverb that was difficult (in fact impossible) to recreate, in an artificial way.

But, he won't be going back there for the next album.

"I'm thinking about other places that are less freezing," he says.

"I'm writing at the moment and I'll try and get all the songs finished before I go in the studio. But I don't like to go in too firmly. I like to leave it open, you don't really want the band knowing exactly what they need to do."

The previous album had its problems.

To the point it changed completely from when they first went in to record to the end product.

"The problems are what make it better," he says. "You have to work through the problems to understand what makes it work. I like it, I like having problems."

Ladder is no stranger to change anyway.

From Love Is Gone, which had a Motown sound, to Hurtsville, which travels to a place more gothic Australian, it's hard to imagine a more disparate direction for Ladder.

But he's trying.

"I think the next album ... it won't be as dirgey as Hurtsville," Ladder says.

"It's a little brighter; there'll be more of a spectrum of colours. I wouldn't want it to be the same."

Many artists say touring a dark album can become draining.

"Yeah, it takes its toll," he says. "It's hard to feel that all the time. It's hard to get people to want and come and see that too.

"But, that's not why I want to do a brighter record. I think that's just to keep myself interested and to give the shows a bit more celebratory feel.

"It's nice to have people want to come see you and not go home and break up with their partners."

If Ladder keeps to his word, his Bangalow set will touch on Motown, gothic Australian and something a little cheery

... all wrapped up in his Nick Cave-esque vocal.

Whoops, sorry about that, Jack.

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