Following the triumphant success of his 2017 album Life Is Fine, Australia’s greatest and most enduring songwriter, Paul Kelly, returns in 2018 with his new studio album Nature - set for release on October 12.
I’m on trial in the witness box...
To celebrate the release, Paul is excited to host a very exclusive event at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios on the evening of October 5 – just a week before album release. Paul will be playing select songs from the new album, as well as an old favourite or two, plus take part in a Q&A session.
Nature is launched by the first single With The One I Love and a video directed by Siân Darling, shot in Melbourne’s Old Magistrates' Court, where Ned Kelly was famously tried and sentenced to death in 1880. Kelly explains, “I’m on trial in the witness box, Mojo Juju plays the judge and Vika and Linda are my defence lawyers”
With The One I Love continues in a similar rocking spirit to last year’s Firewood and Candles (which won Paul the coveted APRA Award for Song Of The Year) and again echoes the melodic guitar rock of Paul’s 80s work with The Messengers.
Kelly entered the studio in Melbourne in March and May this year to record Nature with his esteemed band - Peter Luscombe on drums, Bill McDonald on bass, Ash Naylor and Dan Kelly on guitars and Cameron Bruce on keyboards. It also features the vocals of Vika and Linda Bull, his daughters Madeleine & Memphis Kelly, Alice Keath and Kate Miller-Heidke.
I love playing with them [the band]. They can morph from delicate scientists to big riff rockers and all states in-between
Nature brings together poems from five literary greats - Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Phillip Larkin - alongside poems that Kelly wrote himself and later put to music, and his own original songs that came along in the usual way, as sounds sung to chords that then turned into words.
I’ve been playing around with poems since 2012 and it’s now become another way for me to write songs. I think most writers get sick of themselves and their own habits so it’s a happy surprise, after 40 years of writing songs, to find a new way.
“What links them all is the natural world – trees, birds, animals, plants, dust, desert, water – and human nature’s small place in that world. Most of the pieces were written over the last four years in and around the recording sessions for The Merri Soul Sessions, Seven Sonnets And A Song and Life Is Fine. I didn’t realise I had the makings of another album until I put the songs in a folder and saw the titles staring me in the face. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing until you look back."
I think of Nature as a companion piece to Life Is Fine, itself full of moons, rain, rocks, rivers, seas, smells and lovers
Kelly’s Platinum certified 2017 album Life Is Fine debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart, giving Paul his first ARIA Number One album in a career spanning 40 years. At last year’s ARIA Awards, Kelly took home Best Male and Best Adult Contemporary Album, along with Best Cover Art and Engineer Of The Year. These results ensured Kelly a remarkable 14 ARIA Award wins from a career tally of 51 nominations.
Nature will be available physically in both standard and deluxe versions. The standard version is the 12-song single-disc CD and vinyl. The limited Deluxe Edition of Nature is a major bonus for the legion of Paul Kelly fans: Disc 1 is the 12-song Nature album and Disc 2 is a 27-song DVD, capturing last year’s triumphant show from the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, which was broadcast live around the country by the ABC as their major Australian Music Month promotion. The DVD captures Paul and his long-time band in brilliant form as they feature songs from the just-released, ARIA award-winning Life Is Fine album as well as Paul Kelly classics like To Her Door, From Little Things…, How To Make Gravy, Before Too Long, Deeper Water and many more.
Pre-order Nature here to win tickets to see Paul Kelly at Roundhead Studios!