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Kim Churchill Breaks Down Every Track On New Album ‘Dawn Sounds’

13 January 2023 | 10:08 am | Mallory Arbour

‘Dawn Sounds’ is out now!

Kim Churchill

Kim Churchill (Image: Supplied)

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Award-winning and cherished songbird, Kim Churchill rises today with his seventh studio album, Dawn Sounds. An earnest ode to the joyous peaks and liberating pits of life’s journey, Dawn Sounds celebrates sentimentality and new beginnings. 

A sincere collection of heart-warming and poignant songs, the album is layered with acoustic guitar beds and earthy elements, on a bed of his trademark compelling vocals and storytelling.

Featuring his tender string of releases, Fighter and Please Come Home, Dawn Sounds begins with surf-soaked anthem and recent single, Come Back Free. Gently creeping in is Dawn Sounds, a melancholy whirl of darkened violins and finger picking before cathartic Solace Down offers a silver lining and reminds us there’s hope on the horizon.

Toe-tapper track Go Try Fall is a song of encouragement with empowering themes, reminding us to enjoy life’s wild adventures. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is On Through Time, before moving into the organic warmth of Fighter. Tugging on heartstrings is Please Come Home accompanied by the talented Steph Strings.

Adoring track Rivermouth expresses Kim’s love and admiration for his parents, brought to life by soaring vocals and vibrant textures. Stripped-back Like December softly conveys the aches of letting go, before an important message of staying true to yourself in Let You Down. Rounding out the album is All That You Want From Me, an introspective track about love and relationships.

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

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1. Come Back Free 

I wrote this song about failure. I read a beautiful line in an easily digestible fantasy novel that said, ‘Failure is the mark of a life well lived’. It completely changed my life. I realised I had been so afraid of failing that it had worked its way into my actions and my sense of self. It was blocking me in many ways. I’ve realised now, I want to fail every day! Because that means I’m learning and deeply experiencing life.

It’s been so liberating to realise that, if I have this attitude, most failures will eventually lead to positive growth. You come back with a new sense of understanding and freedom. And in this way, I am able to continue to show up and not create too much added suffering to the failure - and over time, I succeed in some moments, and they feel so well earned and so real.

2. Dawn Sounds 

I often have wild and distressing dreams. I think it just stems from an outrageously active imagination and a bit of a penchant for worrying. I’ve learnt to get up before the sun on these nights and reflect and be outside in nature. I go with the deep emotions the dreams have stirred up and let them gently pass through me to the soundtrack of sunrise and the day awakening. It leaves me feeling deeply calm and like I’ve really processed whatever the dream was bringing up. I just absolutely adore mornings!

3. Solace Down 

I wrote this in a time after turbulence. When I was finally returning to a state of calm and letting the dust settle, I was really inspired by a little town on the mid-north coast of NSW called Bellingen and all the beautiful people I had met there. I woke up and during my early morning writing sessions I played this song in an entire form twice and picked the best bits of each. It came straight out of my slumber, and I’ve left it in that kind of obscure state. But it honestly connects me with that gentle feeling of calm where joy and sadness meet, and you shed a few tears and know that you are OK.

4. Go, Try, Fall 

I feel so, so committed to the attempt these days. Get out there. Try your best. Live and dedicate yourself to things. Fall over. Get back up. The meaning of life is having a go.

5. On Through Time 

I was super inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s book The Old Man and the Sea, and I wrote this song about the ways those themes in the book seemed to ricochet through my own experiences. The beautiful sadness that is life. Everything we work for amounts to very little in the end, but the true value in it all is the person you become along the way. There are few characters in any book I have ever read that I look up to more than the old man in this one. He’s a guru!

6. Fighter 

After being in a relationship for 7 years, I found myself single again and dating in my late twenties. It's a jungle out there and such a wild and vast array of emotional experiences. I found myself on a date with a really beautiful girl and the whole night I had these little thoughts about how inferior I was compared to her. How out of my league she was. Turns out I was right, and she didn’t want to hang out again. I felt that deep stinging hollowness that comes with romantic rejection and it bloomed in my mind into a very negative and self-destructive couple of days. I also felt so weak and silly for having such a huge reaction to one date with a person I barely knew.

I was telling myself I was pathetic and too sensitive for dating and that this was really unattractive. Then the line ‘I’m a fighter underneath’ came to me during a morning writing session and this song began to form. No one is any better than anyone else. We are all on our own immensely complicated path and we all have the strength to rise to whatever life throws at us. We are strong and beautiful, and I felt so empowered all of sudden to realise that I could rise to whatever occasion hit me. That a flower is beautiful and complete and enough regardless of whether anyone ever sees it bloom.

7. Please Come Home (featuring Steph Strings) 

I wrote this song in a hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2010. I have recorded it for 6 times for 5 different albums and taken it off 4. The record label reps and managers and industry people always told me it would be a hit. That scared me and I had a weird feeling about it and kept pulling it from albums and then returning to it later. Finally, through a really beautiful friendship with Steph Strings, I began to connect to this song when it was sung as a duet. She brought out the beauty of what this song is all about and it's such a treat to sing it together!

8. Rivermouth 

It’s a song about how much I love my Mum and Dad. People often use the phrase ‘omg I’m turning into my father’ in a negative way. I guess the figure of speech has been reserved for people that really don’t want to and have had difficult relationships with their parents. But I’m very lucky and absolutely adore my parents. I couldn’t be more proud to grow into my Mum and my Dad. I couldn’t be more proud of them and who they’ve grown into over the years I’ve known them.

9. Like December 

A gentle song about letting go of an attachment to a person. It doesn’t always work out. You can’t always have that person in your life in the way you want them. In those moments, I think it’s really important to surrender and let them go. And to go deeply back into your own world and nurture and protect your flame - even if it is burning low. Brighter days will come and go, but when you’re in the darkness remember they are on their way.

10. Let You Down 

Sometimes you can’t provide someone with what they want, no matter how much you'd like to. They want what they fantasise about. Not what you actually are. You constantly disappoint them when you don’t morph into their fantasy. Be yourself and let them hit the road.

11. All That You Want From Me 

I have been moving towards and discovering my capacity for love - with my family, with my friends and with my lovers. I tend to exist in extremes (it's something I'm working on) and I feel like the pendulum swung from being fairly emotionally steeled and a bit of a heartbreaker, to absolutely throwing myself at romance and getting majorly heartbroken. I wrote this after that pendulum swing when I dedicated myself to a girl that really didn’t deserve me. She enjoyed knowing I cared deeply and reeled me in and reeled me out and so on and so forth. I’m glad I left and I’m grateful for this song as my token of a cool but painful experience.


Keep up to date with Kim Churchill and follow him on Facebook here.
Kim continues his biggest ever Australian tour in 2023 – see dates here.