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Sara Berki, Kirsty Lee Akers & More: The Highlights From This Week’s ‘Grass Roots’

26 September 2023 | 5:05 pm | Staff Writer
In Partnership With ABC Country

Every week, ABC Country's ‘Grass Roots’ program shines a light on the best independently released Australian country content.

Sara Berki / Kirsty Lee Akers

Sara Berki / Kirsty Lee Akers (Supplied)

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Every week, ABC Country's Grass Roots program shines a light on the best independently released Australian country content. Selected from the hundreds of new tracks submitted, the one-hour program is now available on demand as well as premiering each Monday at 9pm on ABC Country, showing the health of Aussie country music across all its sub-genres. Here are four of this week's tracks you should have on your radar. 

Head here to have a listen to this week’s full episode of Grass Roots.

Sara Berki – Favour

Favour is a U-turn for Sara Berki. It’s a song about being cheated on, and features Sara’s most electric production to date. Written entirely by Berki – as all of her releases to date have been – and produced by Red Curl (aka Shawn Mayer, who has also worked on releases for Rachael Fahim and Lane Pittman), the track lifts the sass to new highs for Berki, and has been a live favourite for the past few months.

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Small Town Romance – Home Fires

Home Fires is the new single from Melbourne country outfit Small Town Romance. It’s a sonically luxurious country-soul exploration of the impossible fantasies we entertain in life’s quiet moments – a song you could imagine Patsy Cline crooning, that also feels immediately relatable to every person who parented small humans through endless lockdowns. The arrangement features sweeping pedal steel from Shane Reilly (Lost Ragas), rolling organ from Stevie Hesketh (Jet) and the remarkable vocal blend of Jim Arneman and Flora Smith. Home Fires is the first release off the band’s as-yet-untitled second album, due out in early 2024.

Kirsty Lee Akers – Physical Distraction

Physical Distraction was co-written with longtime collaborators Phil Barton and Bruce Wallace, with Kirsty Lee Akers once again taking the producer’s seat. She worked alongside co-producers Dan Ebbels and Paul Bain to create what they describe as “Dolly [Parton] meets Sheryl Crowe”. Taking inspiration from songs like Dolly’s Baby I’m Burning and Sheryl’s All I Wanna Do, Physical Distraction is sure to be another fan-favourite and radio hit.

Wicker Suite – Ghost Train

In 2023, singer-songwriter, producer and musician Liam Kennedy-Clark and instrumentalist Gabi Louise join forces to form their brand-new country-folk duo Wicker Suite. Their writing and sound combine Liam's country story-telling with Gabi's folk and classical background. They will be joined by several of Australia's finest instrumentalists to produce their debut album, set to be released later this year.