Month: July 2019

Video premiere: ‘Company with Regret’ by Billie Rose Copeland

Billie-Rose-Copeland.jpgThis song is sublime. That’s probably all you need to know (hopefully) to press play on the video below, but in case you need to know more, here it is: ‘Company with Regret’ is the debut single from Billie Rose Copeland, an artist from North West Queensland and graduate of the CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music. It was written – with her singing teacher – only a few days before Copeland’s recording session with Matt Fell at Love Hz studios. Fell contributes all the instruments but it is Copeland’s vocals that star here. There are torch song qualities to her voice, and the marriage with this soulful Americana song makes for an unforgettable tune.

The song has been in high rotation on ABC Country and ABC local radio. Now there’s a video to go with it, created by The Filmery, and it’s a great pleasure to premiere the video for ‘Company with Regret’ here today – please watch it below.


Single release: ‘Hollow’ by The Earl of Grey

unnamed.jpgSome people seek out nostalgia: they are often looking for sounds, sights, humans who can help them re-create the past. The past, of course, always being a place that tends to look more appealing with retrovision-tinted lens. For some of us, nostalgia can be an experience that happens unexpectedly, and it can be welcome or unwelcome. It can also, somewhat weirdly, manifest as a feeling for a time and place that we’ve never actually experienced. In musical terms, it can take the form of a song that sounds intensely, reassuringly familiar even though we’ve never heard it before.

‘Hollow’, the new single from Central Queensland singer-songwriter The Earl of Grey, falls into that latter category. It has a sound of country music from the Kris Kristofferson era (it also conjures Glen Campbell) – emotional singing, sparse instrumentation, an easy way with a beat – and that’s the familiar nature of it. It also has a very distinct identity. It’s a flexible song, in that it’s as easy to imagine The Earl of Grey sitting on a barstool singing it to a small crowd as it is to imagine it ringing out to a festival crowd. That flexibility comes from an unflinchingly solid structure – what I like to think of as good manners, because structure is what helps the listener relax, knowing they’re not going to have strain to work out what the hell is going on – that allows The Earl of Grey to tell his story clearly, and with meaning.

‘Hollow’ is taken from the forthcoming EP Prince Charming, due for release later this year, when The Earl of Grey will take to the road in Gladstone, Brisbane, Sydney and the NSW Central Coast, and other places to be added.

Listen to ‘Hollow’ on:

Apple Music | Soundcloud


Single release: ‘Desire’ by James Thomson

image.pngSinger-songwriter James Thomson has two acclaimed albums behind him – and a third, Golden Exile, in his future. It isn’t a stretch to say that the third will be acclaimed, if the first single, ‘Desire’, is an indication of what’s to come.

Thomson’s sound has elements of laidback California country rock, and he has a crooner’s inclination in the way that Gram Parsons did. This languid, atmospheric track is an ode to new love and while desire is often associated with haste, the structure of this song suggests that it’s a slow-burning – and lasting – thing, as it adds layers and builds towards the end. The unhurried nature of this song suggests an artist who doesn’t want his audience to feel that they have to rush anything either. Indeed, listening to the song on repeat enhances the experience of it and thereby rewards the listener who is prepared to pay attention.

Listen to ‘Desire’ on:

Apple Music | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Spotify



Interview: Georgia State Line

What I Know Now Single Artwork.jpgMelbourne band Georgia State Line are relatively new but have already made their mark, in their home town and on the national country music landscape. Now they’ve released a single credited to the band and Patrick Wilson, who’s in the band but also the co-writer of ‘What I Know Now’. Recently I interviewed the band’s impressive frontwoman Georgia Delves, whose musical talents and knowledge are extensive, and found out more about the song, the tour she and Wilson embarked on, and the band’s plans for a new album.

You had a very busy time while you’re at school by the sound of it, learning music by day, singing in choirs at school and performing gigs at night. Was that exciting or exhausting or both?

A bit of both, actually. I remember looking back on that time and thinking, I don’t know how I kept up with a schedule that busy. It was exhausting, but it was really grounding for me. Coming from a background of classical music, especially for voice, as a singer, I really think it sets you up to be able to sing properly and know how to use the instrument. But I felt as well with the creative side of things, studying classical, it took me a little bit to break away and find my own kind of creative pathway.


Your grandparents introduced you to country music, but did you try a few different styles of music before you settled on country?

I definitely did. As a teen I tried out songwriting and thought, What the heck am I doing? These songs are so bad I can’t let the light of day come to them or anyone hear them. I started off playing in a folk duo and [then] branched out when I started to play more music with lots of different people and I moved to Melbourne and met lots of other bands and friends through there.


Your voice sounds like it could suit a few different styles of music. The classical training I can hear because you have such great tone and control of your voice. But was there anyone – like a music teacher, voice teacher – who might’ve tried to nudge you in a particular direction of music?

Studying classical I had a very strict, traditionally classical teacher, and I remember when I told her that I was going to move to Melbourne and study a contemporary course, I don’t think she was totally that happy. I think she was wanting me to go down the very classical opera route but that definitely wasn’t my thing. But it still is a really valuable practice. I think doing my own research and getting into different country singer-songwriters, looking at who they sought inspiration from and then tracing that back. I don’t think anyone kind of pushed me apart from the classical way, but I suppose it’s just a big melting pot of all the music that I listened to and enjoy. That’s what comes out.

Continue reading “Interview: Georgia State Line”

Album review: Travelling Salesman by Brad Butcher

Brad-Butcher_Travelling-Salesman_3000px-x-3000px.jpgQueensland singer-songwriter Brad Butcher has, deservedly, been the recipient of a Golden Guitar for New Talent of the Year (even if it was for his third album) and Country Song of the Year at the Queensland Music Awards. He has a growing fan base, within the industry and amongst music lovers. He’s also been regularly reviewed on this website because from his first, self-titled album it was clear that he is an outstanding talent. Since that album he’s released Jamestown and From the Bottom of a Well, both complete works, just as the first one was – that is, they are deeply satisfying on lyrical and musical levels, and they are story collections that leave you feeling as though you’ve been told things, learnt things, experienced emotions and taken paths you didn’t otherwise know were there.

It is no surprise, therefore, that with his fourth album, Travelling Salesman, Butcher has again produced a complete work. But that doesn’t mean that his albums are simply versions of each other. On each Butcher looks out and within to find what is right for that work at that time. On each he is prepared to draw on his personal experiences and be vulnerable; on each he is also able to look at the world around him and tell stories that are of value about it.

Travelling Salesman is the work of an artist who now has perspective on the past and on the path he’s been on; as a working artist he now believes himself akin to a ‘travelling salesman’ but there is only pragmatism in the assessment. This is a travelling salesman who likes the travel, even if he’s had to get used to the selling. He also now has a sense of where he fits into the world, and what he can bring to others. Along the way he has not lost the sense of wonder, or willingness to be honest and emotional, that have been present since his first album. If anything, he’s become tighter as a storyteller – in that he has sharpened his focus – and nowhere is this more evident than on the fourth track, ‘Easy Street’.

This is a multi-generational family story in one song; it acknowledges that struggle can strengthen ties, that love is a virtue and that there is room for resentment and forgiveness within each clan. Even though it’s the fourth track, much radiates from it: the man of ‘I’m All In’ is the product of that family in ‘Easy Street’, as is the one whose beliefs shape ‘Suburban Myth’. Within that family that same man has learned to look beyond himself so he can tell the stories of others, as in ‘Freshwater Lady’. It all suggests that over the past four albums Butcher has developed his understanding of what it means to take on the responsibility of being a storyteller. On earlier albums he might have been telling stories for himself – even though they’ve always resonated with many others – but now he’s firmly looking outwards. Or, rather, radiating outwards. He knows who he is and it is from that place of surety that he steps into the world.

Partly this is, no doubt, because he’s become that travelling salesman. He is going around the country, meeting people, playing to strangers, and all the while using his talent and skills to synthesise what he sees and learns. The result is this wonderful album, the fourth in an outstanding line, but the first, perhaps, of a new direction for Butcher, not only the travelling salesman but the roving storyteller who embraces his role and understands its importance to the people who come to listen to his tales.

Travelling Salesman is out now.

Apple Music | Artist’s website | Spotify

Watch the video for ‘Nature’s Course’, the first track on Travelling Salesman, below:


Single premiere: ‘Humming Chain’ by Camille Trail

Camille Trail_Humming Chain3000px RGB.jpgSinger-songwriter Camille Trail grew up and still lives on a cattle station in Central Queensland, and it provides the location for the stunning video that accompanies her debut single, ‘Humming Chain’, which has its premiere today.

Trail has long been a fan of the music of Shane Nicholson, and it is Nicholson who produced the track, which is an evocative, confronting and haunting song about slavery.

Trail has played piano since the age of eight, started writing songs not long after and recently studied songwriting at JMC Academy in Brisbane. ‘Humming Chain’ and the rest of her forthcoming album, Devil’s Drink – also produced by Nicholson – were written while Trail was at the academy.

She says that her driving force in life is her passion for music. ‘I recognise how powerful music is,’ she says, ‘and how it can help people, so if I have the power to be able to do that, that will also be a driving force.’

With such a powerful song to introduce her music to the world, she is well on her way to making a mark.

Watch the video – also making its premiere today – below.


Album premiere: Right Kind of Wrong by Megan Sidwell

Right+Kind+of+Wrong+Album+Cover.jpgEarlier this year Melbourne-based NZ singer-songwriter Megan Sidwell released ‘I Got You’, a single that provided a preview of her upcoming album. That album, Right Kind of Wrong, now makes its premiere here today (with general release tomorrow).

Listen to Right Kind of Wrong on Soundcloud

The seven songs on the album were written after Sidwell moved from New Zealand. Says Sidwell, ‘Over the course of these years I’ve met people who wanted me to change my sound and my look so I was an easier product to sell, and the name “Right Kind of Wrong” is about my own battles and acceptance towards my music. These songs feel right to me because they are my truth.’

Country music audiences expect authenticity from artists and it is immediately clear on this album that Sidwell is giving us her all. The songs are emotional and strong and sometimes defiant. They are more country rock than pop, and Sidwell has the voice to handle rock: it has depth and warmth, and great range, and there’s no danger of her disappearing inside the instruments. And it’s perfectly suited to a ballad like ‘The Chase’, where she is unafraid to show vulnerability inside that strength.

The album was recorded in Nashville and produced by Sam Hawksley, an artist in his own right who has worked with The Sunny Cowgirls and Adam Brand. It’s an album for those who want to be swept away by music – caught up in the sound as well as the lyrics. And it would no doubt be fantastic to hear these songs live – which you can do on the following dates (Victoria only):

Saturday 20th July – Album Launch – Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne

Sunday 21st July – Little French Deli, Bonbeach

Friday 2nd August – Mitcham Social Club, Mitcham

Saturday 3rd August – Noojee Hotel, Noojee

Sunday 11th August – Inkerman Hotel, St Kilda East


Stream Right Kind of Wrong on Soundcloud

Find Megan on:

Apple Music | Spotify