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Ashleigh Dallas Breaks Down Every Track On New Album ‘In The Moment’

9 September 2022 | 11:17 am | Mallory Arbour

‘In The Moment’ is out now!

Ashleigh Dallas

Ashleigh Dallas (Image: via Facebook)

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Ashleigh Dallas is third generation in a country music family dynasty. Born in Australia’s Country Music Capital of Tamworth NSW, the CMAA graduate grew up listening to the musical sounds of her family – Roll of Renown recipient and Golden Guitar winner, Rex Dallas and Golden Guitar winner, producer and multi-instrumentalist father, Brett Dallas. She began violin lessons at the age of 6, and learned to play acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and banjo and started songwriting when she reached her teenage years.

Today, the four-time CMAA Golden Guitar Award winner releases her long-awaited new studio album, In The Moment. The ten beautifully crafted tracks were written in the period of 2020 and 2021, letting the walls come down and accepting vulnerability in a song like Spinning Around to carefree fun and living in a song like Island Here To Me. It also includes the previously released The Moon, Couldn't Keep Up and Good & Bad Days.   

“It’s about family life, wanting more time together, and the middle part is about loss and how to deal with that," she says. "Writing is different now because I was a writer who would sit down and have songs finished in the one session, but In The Moment sums it up because you’ve just gotta just roll with it and accept what it is in the moment because when you’re a working mum at home. Most of these vocals and time in the studio was done while pregnant with Lillian hearing them from the inside.”

In The Moment, which debuted at #2 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart and #6 on the All Genres Chart, follows 2019’s Reflection, her award-winning 2017 album Lighthouse (which debuted at #2 on the ARIA Country Charts just below Keith Urban), 2016’s The Beginning, 2015’s Otherwise of Town and her 2014 debut, Dancing With A Ghost

We’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Ashleigh Dallas talks us through each individual track: the creation, sentiment, and everything in between.


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1. Good & Bad Days

This song in the title sums up the sentiment pretty simply and was the perfect start to the stories between all of these songs. 

We all have Good and Bad Days, and, in my own experience, when I try to deny the bad day, it often gives it more power and by fighting it, often makes it last longer. This song, co-written with Matt Scullion, embraces both the good and the bad and how having someone loving you either way throughout those moments is the best. 

In my late teens and early 20’s, I used to try and hide my anxiety, worry etc. but each year I grow and with that is acceptance and also the power there is in sharing how you feel exactly to someone who is ready to listen while showing you love on those Good & Bad Days.

2. Spinning Around

This song continues on with the theme of acceptance and love. I penned this chorus very soon after having my first daughter Harriet in 2019. I have always been one to put far too much pressure on myself and now with my strategies to keep that in check, I am constantly checking in and communicating with my family also when I feel those habits of overthinking set in.

I think we all have things we would do differently in the past, a time where we could and should have treated someone better and that also includes how we talk to ourselves. We often push ourselves to achieve, and when we do get the victory not everyone is going to be in your corner celebrating with you, which of course, can have a negative impact if you let it get inside your mind. 

Even though this song is vulnerable, there is a strength to acceptance and then in turn you can focus on the change that you need to strengthen your own self and how it's best to keep in check with your wellbeing.

This is also a great reminder how it’s the love that surrounds you and that fills the cup and how that is what I believe is the key that keeps us spinning around. 

3. Lottery

Have you ever said to someone that one day we are going to win the lottery? My hubby and I would say it all the time when he would be working away with his work and unlike my job, the opportunity for us to travel with him was always few and far between. Once we actually sat down and talked about the idea of winning the lottery and what would change for us – it was time to live to fullest and freedom to be together without the worry of making ends meet or that word in everybody’s dialogue – budget. We wouldn’t want a bigger house or a different car, we just want to be together as a family and live for making moments that stay with us. We can all get caught up in making the money, but as one of my favourite lines says: “does the money add up to what you miss per hour??”

So, this song is how if you have a healthy and happy family, good friends, and people around you that you love – well you have won life’s lottery – so live it!

4. The Moon

We had our first born in January 2019, and after I had recovered, and my husband's leave had come to an end, we were finding our feet and balance as a family but of course, work was back to “normal”. 

Kiwi worked in a job that saw a lot of time away from home. Of course, we prefer to always be together, but life just isn't that simple and also when we work that provides opportunities for our family and sustains a household.

The goodbyes certainly got harder with having a baby especially when she started verbalising that she didn’t want one of us to go. Therefore, we have used the Moon whenever we are apart, and have told our girl each night to look up to the Moon and know that when one of us is away that we are looking at the same one too – and suddenly maybe we all can feel a little closer under the same moon.

This song is for anyone who works away to provide for their loved ones, and with being away comes navigating the sacrifices and often loneliness. For anyone who hates saying goodbye to those they love, but understand they are going to provide, keep a home or support opportunities.

“We know that life ain’t that simple and to keep the four walls of our home, means some nights we get to be together, while others are spent in motels on our own”

5. Couldn’t Keep Up

This was one of those songs that was haunting my mind at 1am, and I tried to ignore it, but it was too strong, so I got into my office and put pen to paper, and these lyrics were like a poem. Within 30 minutes it was penned, in a way I felt like I had help writing it out of this world.

I had lost a friend that I had recently reconnected with, and I felt like even though we had reconnected there were things I left unsaid thinking I would have that chance to one day tell them. So, this is a song for those we wished we hugged a little longer, had one more catch up with, whose phone we still ring just to hear their voice and a reminder to leave your heart on the line and tell people how you feel because you never know what is around the corner. And if you yourself need help, to take that first step and talk with someone.

6. Whistle On The Wind

This song is another one of the co-writes that feature on the album, written with my drummer and very good mate Adam McCann. It’s written from the perspective of a loved one who is no longer physically here on earth, but spiritually is around watching their partner be weighed down in grief, lose the sparkle of life in their eye, not enjoy any of the things they once did all while thinking that they have a brave face to the world as if there is nothing wrong at all. 

After losing really close family members as an adult and seeing the evident effects it has, how darkening grief can really change the way of a person, I hope this song can bring some closure and amongst the sadness of navigating life without someone’s physical being, that we do things to celebrate and remember them as their spirit is always with us, the like the whistle on the wind. 

7. Dancing Blues

This song is a time piece of writing in the height of the covid lockdown. Along with doing many online Facebook Lives and zoom concerts, I was following and participating in Online Line Dance classes and socials hosted by Stephen Paterson and Maddison Glover. The way the music and line dance community came together on these online events was really heart-warming. Reading through the comments, a lot who were technically strangers to one another, sharing kindness, support and having real conversations that were clearly changing the day for many, mine included. 

Suddenly, in a time where I felt professionally frustrated and challenged, I had this shining positive light and community spirit at its absolute best, reminding me one of the main reasons I love what I get to do for work – connection with people.

“At the end of it all, we’ll look back on this time, apart we were together, and we have built a stronger rhyme” It was the music, the dancing and the people that danced the blues away and oh baby, we are still dancing!

8. Island here To Me

Well, it is pretty obvious that where I live. Kootingal, just outside of Tamworth, we do not have a beach or a tropical island view, but we sure do have this magic in the country landscape. 

My Dad and producer, Brett Dallas and I wrote this song in 2020 especially for an online fundraiser in conjunction with the postponement of the festival Tunes In The Tropics – Fiji, which I have been performing at since age 16.

Event organiser, Chris Watson Travel and I hosted this online event with a star-studded line up in the hope to raise money to the be able to provide food hampers for the Fijian Village we normally support while over there, and with tourism being the main source of their income we wanted to hopefully make a difference. Over $10,000 dollars was raised, and every cent supported the living costs and food supplies of the families of the hideaway.

So, with this song, turn it up, allow yourself the TIME to disconnect from the world and take in the beauty around you, and bring the island to the magic of the country air and have the best of both worlds.

9. Dancing In The Kitchen

Friday nights in our house is a dance party night! We used this as a way to connect as a family after busy weeks away working, and even to forget about the news of the world for a few hours. This song was written when we had restrictions on dancing and singing in public, so we turned our kitchen into the dance floor with the only rule being don’t have the oven on! 

We would take turns in picking the music, even Harriet would choose the songs and the kitchen was also the dance floor space I used while participating in the online Line Dance tutorials and socials. So many people I talked to and followed were dancing in their kitchen, so this song organically just formed.

It is just a feel-good classic sounding country song that hopefully makes you want to sing along and I can highly recommend having a boogie in your kitchen!

10. Sunshine

Our eldest daughter Harriet, when she first started talking, she would say the word “sunshine” in response to us saying `love you’. I think it's because she associated sunshine with love, thanks to the lyrics of You are my sunshine, which I have sung every night since now both girls were babies. But sunshine is a perfect way to describe what being parents have brought to our world, incredible warmth, and light.

This is a letter to my girls, that as they grow, learn, and make mistakes that hopefully they always look at all they do with a kind eye, they always can feel our love and support as they grow up and discover about the world and their own self, and see themselves through our eyes, the incredible warmth and light they share to this world. In one breath of raising kids, you are swept up in the innocence and the non-prompted “I love you” that ease any day. Then in one flick of a moment, you are racing about frantically trying to support the emotions that your child is feeling because they didn’t want their sandwich cut in squares but in triangles, but amid of the chaos, it's an unconditional love and these little beings shine the importance daily of what life and love is all about. “You ease on in like a drop of rain, take my breath like a hurricane, still shining brighter than it’s ever been, baby you are sunshine”

PS. make sure you listen right to the end... It is the real heart melt of the record and poses a very good question…


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