It takes an extraordinary artist to emerge on each new album with a fresh, original and dynamic sound — yet at the same time stay completely true to herself. But integrity is a vital part of Felicity Urquhart’s music as her new album shows.
Produced by highly respected producer Brad Jones (Bob Evans, Josh Rouse, Richard Julian), this is an album that transcends musical boundaries, combining Felicity’s exquisite voice and extraordinary songs with a simple thread of truth.
The album offers a collection of songs that reveal the many aspects of this remarkable singer and songwriter. The highly autobiographical “Girl in the Mall”, cowritten with Mark Seymour (of Hunters and Collectors fame), is both heartfelt and powerful, while the gentle “Landing Lights”, penned with ex-pat Aussie musician Jedd Hughes, touches the soul in the gentlest possible way.
Mark and Jedd are just two of many musical luminaries to join Felicity on this landmark album. Others include Kim Richey, who co-wrote and sang on the exquisite “All Good Fun”, one of the album’s standout tracks, along with Randy Scruggs, who wrote and performed on “Rollercoaster”, and The Greencards’ Kym Warner, who played on “So Go On” and “Girl in the Mall”. Pedal steel legend Al Perkins also left his memorable mark on the album.
“With this album, I wanted to open myself up to possibilities — to do something totally different, to take a risk,” Felicity said. “Thanks to Brad Jones, every song had the chance to be what it needed to be — to be honest, vulnerable and true to itself.”
Felicity’s step into the unknown is very evident on her first single, the powerful, edgy “I Fall”, cowritten with The Badloves’ Michael Spiby.
“It’s a very different song for me. I like taking new ideas and just going for it. Every album is uncharted territory, and should be fresh. Each song is absolutely me,” Felicity said.
It’s not surprising that Felicity is so grounded, yet so comfortable stretching the boundaries. She’s an artist who’s at ease in her own skin.
“I’ve been very lucky to have a close, supportive, loving family — and now a fiancé [musician Glen Hannah] who’s equally enthusiastic about what I do, and just as encouraging,” says Felicity.
“Glen has stepped back from production duties this time, but he had a lot of input and played on the album. We decided to use Brad’s talents as producer and to record in Nashville so we could step out of our comfort zone. It was an experience to work alongside someone who has produced so many of our favourite albums. His belief, creativity and approach towards my music were inspiring.”
Felicity has included a song about her grandfather and mother, the enchanting “Ernie’s Daughter”, cowritten with Melbourne musician Chuck Jenkins and Weddings, Parties, Anything’s Mick Thomas.
For Felicity, recording the album was a chance to do what she loves most — making music — in between a hectic schedule that includes being a presenter on Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender, other TV and radio roles, and being the face of The Heart Of Country for Tourism NSW.
Felicity is also still very involved with the NSW Talent Development Program, which gave her a start in music, and she works tirelessly for the Merry Makers, a program that brings young people with intellectual and physical disabilities together with artists and others to create amazing shows. It’s something she is passionate about.
“There’s so much generosity and love there. We all need to get out and understand, to befriend people who may be a little different from us, and realise what they can do and how incredible they are,” she said.
With numerous awards to her credit, including two Golden Guitars and three MO Awards, Felicity has been a leading light of the Australian music scene for the past decade, with numerous chart hits to her credit. She is widely regarded as one of the country’s finest vocalists and songwriters.
Felicity has supported John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson and the late Waylon Jennings, and recently toured Australia with international music icon Kenny Rogers. She has been busy songwriting with the some of Australia’s leading writers over the past year, including James Blundell, James Reyne, Ross Wilson and Nick Barker.