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 album, Landing Lights, shows.
“Landing Lights is modern and clean. But is also sounds free of the need to sound like everything else – a crucial detail. Its principal strength is quality songwriting.” Bernard Zuel, SMH
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’s title track Landing Lights was co-written with ex-pat Aussie musician Jedd Hughes and touches the soul in the gentlest possible ways. The metaphoric description of finding comfort in that solid heart that awaits on ones return and gives balance to life.
Like Landing Lights, the album offers a collection of songs that reveal the many aspects of this remarkable singer and songwriter. “Little Cricket is open to interpretation – that is the beauty of songwriting. It was co-written with Robert Lee Castleman, who’s written a number of hits for Alison Krauss. He rarely co-writes, so when he offered I was thrilled. I love what ‘Little Cricket’ says, and the way it says it,” Felicity said.
Her single Two Wheels is a collaboration with highly respected Melbourne artist Nick Barker – Rhythms magazine compares Felicity to Kasey Chambers, and Bernard Zuel (SMH) says “Two Wheels…gritty sexiness”.
Nick Barker and Jedd Hughes 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 the award-winning Roller Coaster, and The Greencards’ Kym Warner, who played on So Go On and Girl in the Mall. Ernie’s Daughter, co-written with Melbourne musician Chuck Jenkins and Weddings, Parties, Anything’s Mick Thomas. Pedal steel legend Al Perkins and the extraordinary Fats Kaplin also left a memorable mark.
“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. Brad is a very sort after producer and for him to choose to work with me and my music was such a compliment.”
Felicity’s step into the unknown was evident on her single, the powerful, edgy I Fall, co-written with The Badloves’ Michael Spiby. “I like new ideas. 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. For Felicity, recording Landing Lights was a chance to do what she loves most – making music – in between her role as host of ABC radio’s national program Saturday Night Country (scoring an ABC Local Radio Awards 2010 finalist nomination for Best New Talent and named 2011 Australian CM People’s Choice Awards Most Popular CM Announcer) and being a presenter on Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender.
Felicity has supported John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, the late Waylon Jennings, and toured with international music icon Kenny Rogers. She’s written with some of Australia’s leading writers, including James Blundell & Mark Seymour.
The single and highly autobiographical 2010 CMAA APRA Song of the Year nominated Girl in the Mall, co-written with Mark Seymour (of Hunters and Collectors fame), is both heartfelt and powerful. It also received a nomination for the 2011 CMAA Video Clip of the Year, directed by Erica Davis.