Tune in this Monday from 7pm AEST!
Morgan Evans is currently making waves with his stellar new EP Life Upside Down, which arrived just last month as the follow-up to his acclaimed 2018 album Things That We Drink To. The Novocastrian star has surged up the ranks since his breakthrough release in 2012 – the EP Live Each Day – with Things That We Drink To winning the ARIA Award for ‘Best Country Album’ in 2019 (the single Day Drunk was also nominated for ‘Song of the Year’). To boot, he’s won four APRA Awards, three Golden Guitar Awards and five CMC Awards, and in 2014 was honoured with the ‘Global Country Artist’ award at the CMAs.
Between the January 2012 release of Live Each Day and last month’s arrival of Life Upside Down, Evans released three further EPs – While We’re Young in August of 2012, a self-titled effort in 2018, and The Country And The Coast (Side A) in 2021. Things We Drink To was also his second full-length offering, following the release of his eponymous debut album in 2014. With such a rich catalogue, it’s no surprise Evans is a favourite on the touring circuit – earlier in May, it was announced he’d be headlining this year’s Gympie Music Muster, and making a special appearance at NQ’s Rock’n Country Music Festival.
Join our community with our FREE weekly newsletter
Though he was born in Traralgon, Victoria (some two hours east of Melbourne), Gord Bamford cut his teeth in Canada, where he moved at age five. Country music runs in his veins – he was encouraged to pursue a career in the industry by his mum, who sang in a country band before relocating, and in 1995, Bamford took out the top prize in the Nornet Radio Network’s ‘Search for the Stars’ contest. A year later, he released Forever Starts Today as his debut single, kicking off a storied career that continues to evolve. To date, he’s won 16 awards from the Canadian Country Music Association, and is one of just two artists (alongside The Shires) to win ‘Global Country Artist of the year’ at the CMA Awards more than once.
Bamford released his debut album, God’s Green Earth, in 2001. He’s since released nine more full-length efforts, most recently with Fire It Up in April of this year. The album’s launch came with the news that Bamford would return to Australia later in 2023, with a 12-date tour on the itinerary for August and September. It’ll only be his second time performing in the country, having made his long-awaited live debut here in 2018 (when he performed at CMC Rocks in Queensland).
Christie Lamb’s origin is effectively the inverse of Bamford’s – she was born overseas (albeit in England, not Canada) and moved to Australia as a kid (albeit a year later than Bamford at age six), discovering her love for music at an early age. She relocated to Nashville after studying a Bachelor of Music at university, and in 2011, made her case for greatness with a self-titled debut EP. That was followed up by her debut album, All She Wrote, in 2014, setting her on the path to earn some well-deserved critical acclaim. She won the CMC Award for ‘New Australian Artist of the Year’ in 2015, and a year later, won ‘New Talent of the Year’ at the CMAAs.
Lamb has since released three albums: Loaded in 2017 (which earned her the ‘Australian Artist of the Year’ title at the 2018 CMC Awards), Broken Lines in 2019 and Truth just last year. The lattermost effort sported a slew of career-defining songs – among them Three Chords And A Woman’s Truth, Beat Of My Own Drum and Kiss About It – and went on to be honoured as one of Countrytown’s top ten albums of 2022. Also last year, Lamb welcomed her first child, a daughter named Charlotte, with husband Jonathan English.
Darlinghurst are Countrytown and KIX’s current ‘Centre Stage’ artist, making waves with their poignant new single Pretty Doesn’t Make You Good (which Countrytown also premiered yesterday). It landed as their second new tune for the year – following A Little Love, team-up with Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows, back in March – and follows on from last year’s instant hits Living For The Highlights (a joint effort with Amber Lawrence) and Hangman.
Hailing from Melbourne, the band made their mainstream breakout in 2019 with the single Sorry Won’t Get You Back. Critics and fans alike knew they’d struck gold with the up-and-coming quartet, and when So Long So Long topped the charts just a few months later, it was set in stone that Darlinghurst had something special. A stack of chart-topping singles followed – Picture Frame, Gotta Go Rodeo, Where Do We Go, Unfaithful and You Stopped Making Sense (featuring Shannon Noll) – with the band’s self-titled debut album finally making landfall in September 2021. Not only did it do exceptionally well on the charts, it earned Darlinghurst the CMA Award for ‘New Talent of the Year’.
In a soon-to-be-published interview with Countrytown, singer Pagan Newman confirmed that Darlinghurst have even more new music to share, with their next release currently being finalised for later in the year.
Abbie Ferris is a rising star from South Australia, currently blazing trails with her striking 2022 singles Drunk On You Like Wine, 3AM Girl and Hot Summer Nights. She broke out on the scene in 2018 with her debut single For A Moment, chasing it up a year later with Beat You At Your Own Game. Later in 2019, she released her first EP, The Five: My Teens. It’s been all singles since then, but hopes are high that Ferris will come through with her debut album sooner than later. She’ll release her first single for the year, My Kinda Cowboy, this Monday coming (May 22).
Ferris’ website describes her as “the pure definition of a country girl” and “a ray of light on the Australian music landscape”. Other fan-favourite singles include her 2020 releases Love Up On Me and Bad Boy Crush, plus the Ready Or Not single she linked up with The Dungarees for in 2021.
Drawing influence from the likes of Chris Stapleton, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley (a wild trio if we’ve ever seen one), Sons Of Atticus wield a truly unique sound sure to make them favourites of the Australian country scene in no time. They released their debut album, Jack’s Motel, in November of 2021, featuring such magnificent singles as Late Nights & Great Opportunities, Jack Monroe (a collaboration with fellow up-and-comer Adam Newling) and Homesick. Since then, they’ve dropped two standalone singles: Sad Songs last July, and Sore Eyes the following October.