Shayne Cook, hailing originally from Brisbane and currently based in Melbourne, Australia, is a singer-songwriter whose musical influences encompass Nick Cave, Ainslie Wills, Bon Iver, City and Colour, Thom York, Emma Louise and more.
Shayne refers to himself as a “late-bloomer” in the realm of music, having gotten started in earnest as a teenager. “Although, my mother told me that the age of three I was spouting off that I wanted to be a ‘songer’—what I called a singer, I suppose—but it wasn’t until 15 that I picked up a guitar.” Shayne continues, “But I was one of those kids that sort of came home from school and played for six to eight hours…”
It would be another 10 or so years before Shayne would try singing, and another five until he caught the songwriting bug. He calls it a “slow, blossoming process” where he first discovered guitar, then, through playing with others, was introduced to singing, then from there naturally moving into writing.
“I don’t usually sit down and decide I’m going to write a song about this—a particular subject…” says Shane about his process. “It kind of comes out of the ether and then sometimes I attach a meaning to it…sometimes the words or the take of the song kind of just leads towards a meaning…” He adds, “I’m a big believer that everyone sort of makes up their own meaning from art anyway.”
With his 2020 debut record, Epiphonetics, Cook came out swinging with an impressive collection of nine songs that revealed a raw and open songwriter with a direct approach, featuring vocals that were fresh yet familiar, delivered with heart and honesty. “Until that point, I’d just been chipping away at my own music,” Shayne recalls. The time had finally come to reveal his own songwriting voice, after years of lending his talents to others’ projects.
His follow-up to the album is a track co-written with Richard Grewer, the Top 25 UK iTunes chart single, “Miles Away,” which was released in February 2023. Look for more of Shayne’s collaborations to the near future.
By Dan Walsh