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Song You Need to Know: Chloe Kay and The Crusade, ‘Brokedown and Broke’

Inspired by an interview with iconic drummer Chris ‘Whipper’ Layton, Chloe Kay and The Crusade offer up a track laced with tenacity and passion.


Sydney’s Chloe Kay and The Crusade have undeniably mastered the blend between blues and rock, with latest single “Brokedown and Broke” showcasing their powerful sound.

Having been on the scene for a few years now, the quintet – fronted by its namesake, and featuring Ewan Lund, Johnatan Fassio, Adam Fawcett, and Garnet Meekings on guitar, bass, keys, and drums, respectively – draw heavily from their influences of classic blues artists. The blistering instrumentation of icons such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Leon Bridges shine through, while Kay’s vocals feature a mesmerising timbre reminiscent of the likes of Bonnie Raitt or even Joss Stone.

Releasing their debut single earlier this year, the group have been eager to overcome the hassles of 2020 and 2021 to maintain their momentum. However, after Sydney’s lockdowns caused extra delay, they’ve now returned with their latest track, “Brokedown and Broke”.

As Kay explains, the single’s origins can be traced back to when Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s iconic drummer Chris ‘Whipper’ Layton recounted a story to her in an interview about how he and Stevie overcame numerous challenges to make it to one of their legendary gigs in time.

“We were going to do a gig early on and we left Austin, Texas and we were running late and Stevie decided he wanted to drive, so we were in his car a ’65 Chrysler New Yorker with our stuff in the back seat and the trunk,” Layton recalled. “As we were turning the corner to go north up into the panhandle of Texas we blew a tire and Stevie didn’t have a spare. It was one of those moments where you look out and go ‘well, there are no cars at all’….

“The story goes that he and I start jacking up the car, we take the wheel off, and push the wheel towards the gig for two miles or so, hoping we’d run into anybody,” he adds. “We happen to see a gas station open where the guy’s getting ready to leave, and he fixed the tire for us, and got it back on the car, we finally made it to the gig, as late as we were, we made it.”

“That’s a good story to me,” Kay explained. “Two guys standing there on the side of a highway out in the desert in west Texas going ‘well, here we are by ourselves with no way to go anywhere, how are we going to move forward?’ Which is pretty poetic…”

Indeed, the result is a track that captures the technical prowess and tenacity possessed by the group, while its accompanying Doran Brewer-directed video provides a scenic reminder of time spent on the road.

Shot on Super 8 by Doran, and later edited by his talented sister Tess, Chloe Kay and The Crusade had planned to shoot their video on the weekend that Sydney had been plunged into a sudden two-week lockdown. Soon turning into a four-month lockdown, the band wasted no time in heading out to capture what you see in one solitary spring afternoon.

“I’d been envisioning the music video from the moment I wrote the song,” Kay explained. “Chris Layton’s story of him and Stevie Ray evoked such strong imagery and I knew I wanted to pay homage to it in a somewhat humorous, low budget fashion while still keeping true to the heart of the storyline. Shooting on Super 8 felt right given the name of the song, and our love of vintage aesthetics and music.

“We also sourced a stunning vintage Morris Minor to tie it all in. To bring things full circle, whilst filming the video things weren’t all smooth sailing – typical of old technology we had some camera issues on the day and had to wait weeks to find out if things had been successful, so that afternoon we had to band together, push through and hope for the best. Very serendipitous.

“Ultimately this is a video shot with and by friends with the goal of telling a story of overcoming struggle Together and that’s exactly what happened on the day!”

Chloe Kay And The Crusade’s “Brokedown and Broke” is out now.