Raised where the fertile floodplains of the Riverina meet the Snowy Mountains in Wiradjuri Country —William Crighton has quickly established himself as one of Australia’s foremost contemporary songsmiths.
Crighton’s critically-acclaimed debut William Crighton (2016) garnered a nomination at the 2017 AIR Awards, and drew the praise of Rolling Stone, who celebrated Crighton’s “uniquely penetrating storytelling.” Darkly majestic follow-up Empire (2018) was named album of the year by Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner in the Saturday Paper, while Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst has sung the praises of Crighton’s deeply resonant, ineffably Australian vocal delivery.
In January 2017, Crighton’s performance alongside Melody Poole was described by the late leading light of Australian rock critics Iain Shedden as one of his “all-time Top 10” live shows.
He has been selected to appear at the gamut of Australia’s premier music festivals, including Bluesfest, Port Fairy Folk Festival, WOMAD, Woodford Folk Festival, and Dashville Skyline, along with major European fixtures from Denmark’s long-running Tønder Festival to the UK’s world-renowned Boomtown Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival.
Crighton has toured and shared stages with a host of world renowned artists, including Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real (USA), Missy Higgins, Dan Sultan, the Temptations, the Beach Boys, Terra Lightfoot (Canada) and Beans on Toast (UK). As a headline artist, he’s traversed countless air miles, including staging expansive tours of the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.
He’s been invited to showcase at BIG-SOUND, Australian Music Week, Canadian Music Week, along with the Mondo Music Conference in New York City, and the Folk Alliance International showcase in Kansas. Earlier this year, Crighton was one of the 5 selected artists to perform at the 2020 coveted APRA Music Awards.
With scorching new single ‘Your Country’, Crighton gives furious voice to country under siege with gripping feeling and conviction.
The ink barely dry on the lyric sheet, ‘Your Country’ saw Crighton take to Christian Pyle’s celebrated studio in the Byron Bay hinterland, along with long term collaborator and Producer Matt Sherrod (Crowded House, Beck). The resulting immediacy and electrifying energy pulses at the song’s heart, replicating the exhilarating dynamism of Crighton’s live show.
Chiming perfectly with Crighton’s unparalleled dissecting of the the Australian psyche and charting our unique landscape in song, ‘Your Country’ showcases a didgeridoo part courtesy of bandmate and ARIA Award-winning innovator William Barton.
“It’s that undercurrent, that pulse—it’s on those frequencies that are in tune with us, Crighton says of Barton’s contribution. “You feel it when he starts to play—everything around you starts moving.”
‘Your Country’ features ARIA-winner in Jeff Lang on guitar, along with James Hazelwood (Kasey Chambers, Tim Minchin) on bass, and established bandmates Julieanne Crighton and drummer Matt Sherrod.
The track’s squall of snarling, arcing psych-rock guitars propels Crighton to a dramatic new front in his enviable repertoire, building to a climactic and hollered call to arms.Decrying environmental degradation in the pursuit of profit and the moral bankruptcy of the politicians who facilitate it, ‘Your Country’ is a blistering shot across the bows.
“The land is just being sold off, killed, poisoned, damaged,” Crighton says of the fury that moved him to record ‘Your Country’. “The water’s being auctioned to the highest bidder or poisoned, the land’s being cleared constantly. I think everyone knows in their gut that it’s time for real change. We live on a special planet, obviously it’s our only home. Regardless of your history. It doesn’t belong to us, we belong to it. We have a responsibility to country, each and every one of us.”
‘Your Country’ is a timely entry in the songbook of a uniquely incisive artist at the peak of his powers and will be released on the 25th of September. William Crighton has never been more urgent in his message—or more articulate in his delivery.
Supported by Mykaela Jay.