In 2018 Sinead Burgess released the wonderful, memorable album Damaged Goods. Recently she appeared at Country2Country in Sydney and Brisbane – her first shows in Australia in five years, she said – and showed why she’s worth paying very close attention to: with only a guitar for accompaniment, she had the crowd transfixed.
Ahead of C2C she released a new single, ‘Reno’, which is not drawn from Damaged Goods, which had a more acoustic-based sound. ‘Reno’ is a full-band recording, which allows Burgess to move into a more country-rock sound that compliments her storytelling style and subject matter, and detracts not at all from her vocals.
Says Burgess of the inspiration for the song: ‘I got the idea pulled up in front of a run down motel in Reno, Nevada. The rooms had these incredibly kitschy peach doors that look like they hadn’t been cleaned since the 70s, and I started to daydream about how it would feel planning a big life from such a small room. So much of my own story and yearning for growth and adventure found its way into the lyrics, and all of a sudden we ended up with a grungy, Petty-inspired song.’
The song was written with California rockers The Federal Empire (Grammy-nominated writer McKay Stevens and Chad Wolf, former front man of Carolina Liar) and recorded in Nashville. The writing and recording were part of Burgess’s Nashville Songwriter Residency Grant for 2019, awarded to her by the Australia Council for the Arts and offered to only one Australian per year.