“‘She’s A Fighter’ is the last song I wrote for ‘The Candle And The Flame’ album. I wrote the music for it in June 2021. I liked the tune and the quick energy of the song, but I didn't know yet what it was going to be about.
In early July, Karin Bäumler, my wife and musical companion for thirty-two years, received a cancer diagnosis.
In late July, with a series of chemotherapy sessions about to begin, Karin talked of fighting for her health and a path through chemotherapy to recovery.
The phrase, ’She’s A Fighter’ came to me.
I liked it. And I knew immediately that it would work with my new melody. I needed just one other line for the lyric. ‘Fighting for good.’ The song was finished.
I had written my first two-line song. I had just out-Ramoned The Ramones!
Because the song has so much meaning to us, we decided to record it as a family. The only time this happens on the album. Karin sings and plays xylophone. Our daughter Loretta plays electric guitar. Our son Louis plays guitar, bass and percussion. And I strum an acoustic guitar fiercely and sing.
And that’s ‘She’s a Fighter’.”
That coming together musically as a family is captured in the video for ‘She’s A Fighter’. “The video was shot in the same studio (Alchemix Studios, Brisbane) as the album was recorded in. So there is continuity,” Forster said. “And the way the four of sit in a circle playing, is very much how we recorded ‘She’s A Fighter’ and other tracks on the album.”
‘The Candle And The Flame’ consists of 9 songs written by Robert. Produced by Robert, Karin Bäumler and Louis Forster (The Goon Sax), the album was mixed by Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey) and features former Go-Betweens and Warm Nights bass player Adele Pickvance as well as Scott Bromiley and Luke McDonald (The John Steele Singers), who worked on Robert’s ‘Inferno’ and ‘Songs To Play’ albums.
“The recording sessions for the album were done sporadically over six months. Sometimes just one or two days a month. As that was all Karin’s strength and condition allowed her to do. So we had to record ‘live’, catching magical moments and going for ‘feel'. And that became the sound of the album.” says Robert.
Robert Forster is planning shows both in Australia and abroad in 2023 with dates to be announced soon. He is currently writing a novel and preparing the release of Volume 3 of The Go-Betweens Boxset series, ‘G Stands For Go-Betweens.’