Category: kirsty lee akers

Single release: ‘True Blue’ by Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Kirsty Lee Akers & Dianna Corcoran

unnamed-15When it’s announced that Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Kirsty Lee Akers and Dianna Corcoran are releasing a single together, that’s something that goes immediately to the ‘must-listen’ list. Each of these singer-songwriters has an established musical identity, none of them like each other, so they all bring something unique to a collaboration. And in this case they have collaborated on the beloved John Williamson song ‘True Blue’.

The four originally performed this as a ‘cover song challenge’ online during lockdown, 12 years since they toured together as Chic Frontier and 38 years after the song was originally released by Williamson. There were so many requests for them to record a studio version that they’ve now done just that, and the result is as wonderful as you’d expect. Each singer recorded her part separately and Corcoran mixed the track; the four also filmed their parts of the video separately.

But while they were isolated during the creation, they’re united in their message that the song points to something in the Australian spirit that has helped us press on since the awful start to the year and through the past few months. As Lawrence says, the song ‘really summed up the response from all Australians in these terribly dark times.’

Apple Music | Spotify

Single release: ‘Heart of Stone’ by Kirsty Lee Akers

unnamed-5.jpgKirsty Lee Akers released her fifth album, Under My Skin, in 2018. This impressive collection of country rock and pop was produced by Akers; it debuted at #3 on the iTunes Country and ARIA Australian Country Albums chart upon release (as well as #5 ARIA Country Album and #8 ARIA Australian Album).

The latest single from the album is ‘Heart of Stone’, and for it Akers has released a video with a story – that of the Goree Girls.

The Goree Girls were a band of female prisoners of the Goree Unit in Huntsville, Texas, in the 1940s, and they were the first documented all-female country and western band. After teaching themselves to play instruments they started performing on the local radio programme broadcast from the prison, gaining a following all over the country. The video deviates a little from the real Goree Girls story, though, as Akers explains.

‘When I first came across the story of the Goree Girls, it immediately caught my attention. In this version, the girls actually escape from prison unlike in real life,’ she says. ‘I thought about what I would have done if I was in their shoes and bought out a little of their bad girl side.’


Under My Skin is out now through Social Family Records.

Apple Music | iTunes | Sanity | Spotify

Album news: Under My Skin by Kirsty Lee Akers

Kirsty_Lee_Akers_-_Under_My_Skin.jpgSinger-songwriter Kirsty Lee Akers has released a new album, Under My Skin, and because she released it in July and I missed the release date, I’ll keep this short and sweet in the interests of not delaying further … This is Akers’s fifth album and the first for which she has acted as a producer. But, really, on her fifth go-round it makes sense that she knows her sound better than anyone – and it’s clear on this album that she does. This is a cohesive, intelligently written and produced collection of country rock/pop. Akers knows how to write a catchy hook and also a melody that suits her robust, mellifluous voice.

Country rock and pop are, as noted elsewhere on this site, a growing genre in Australia. Akers leans towards the rock side and finds a distinctive place within it, as do The McClymonts, by honouring her sound and her voice. She’s not trying to sound like anyone else, and she shouldn’t, because this is a great collection of infectious songs that serve to entertain and also make you stop and think.

As a last note: I certainly hope this isn’t the last album she produces, and that she’ll produce for others.

Under My Skin is out now through Social Family Records.

Apple Music | iTunes | Sanity

Album review: Burn Baby Burn by Kirsty Lee Akers

I’ve seen Kirsty Lee Akers perform live a few times, and each time I’ve been impressed: she has a fantastic voice and she engages well with an audience. But in the past I hadn’t found that her recorded work matched her live performance. She’s not the first artist this has happened to, of course. The electricity of a live performance can be hard to capture in a studio environment, perhaps because the audience isn’t there for the artist to work off, especially if they’re an artist who needs that or thrives on it. So that’s why there has been no coverage of Akers on this site, until now.
When I first heard Akers’s new album, Burn Baby Burn, my thought was: Finally.As in, finally there was an album that showcased her properly. Akers’s voice, with the wrong songs, could sound too much like pop when she’s actually got a great country voice. She can slip and slide into and out of notes with the best of them. She has a twang that lends itself far more to country than pop, and she has a knowing quality that is often absent in pop.
On Burn Baby Burn she now has the songs that allow her to show off her abilities while also making capturing some of the catchiness of pop that keeps people coming back for more. If it’s not entirely the album I want from her – I’m convinced she’s got some grit to uncover or explore – it’s still an album I’ve been listening to happily, over and over, because it’s a pleasure.
Burn Baby Burn is out now through Maven Records/Sony.