While NSW waits, a new album ‘While the World Waits’ launches 15 original tracks by musicians from the NSW Central West.
In 2020, and now again, isolated and in lockdown, musicians longed for an audience and music lovers wanted to come together and experience music at their favourite venues. But for all it was, and is, a waiting game.
In response to the impacts of Covid-19 on the local music industry, Arts OutWest commissioned 15 songwriters across 11 local government areas in the region to each write a song reflecting their experiences of 2020. ‘While the World Waits’ is the outcome, a professionally produced, beautiful sound-capsule of this time in our lives.
The album will be launched via an online performance at 2pm on Saturday 21 August, then for sale as a limited edition CD.
The launch will feature live performances by a couple of the musicians on the album. Access the online launch via the Arts OutWest Facebook page.
Styles of the songs range from acoustic ballads, soulful pop, foot stompin’ rock, indie pop to some dreamy late night chill outs and good old fashioned finger poppin’ accapella.
“This collection of songs is a cathartic expression about 2020, but it is also a musical journey across the Central West,” said Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan.
Kris Schubert (whose band ‘The Safety of Life at Sea’ also features on the album) produced all but one of the recordings at The Boat Shed Studio in O’Connell.
The musicians each had very different experiences of 2020, as we hear in the tracks:
Canowindra’s Nerida Cuddy said 2020 was actually an exciting year of growth for her as a musician. “I wrote [my track on the album] ‘Virtual Folk Club’ for my friends in the weekly Bristol-based zoom folk club that I was lucky enough to be invited to join in April 2020.”
‘Tomorrow’ by Orange-based Lynda Manwaring was written when, she said, “like everyone else at the time, I was sitting around in a coffee stained t-shirt and baggy sweat pants, locked down and noodling mindlessly on my guitar.”
Rising Parkes star Gracey Denham-Jones sings about the complexities and emotions of turning 18 during isolation in her song ‘Wait’. “We are called in this world to ‘wait’ for the better days; hold on and be strong when times get tough, as there is always a rainbow after every storm,” she said.
Millthorpe’s ARIA award winner Genni Kane, known for her folk sounds, admits that her more political track ‘Trouble We’re In’ is darker than her usual: “I generally look for hope in even the most difficult of situations. 2020 just floored me.”
‘Better Deal’ by Grenfell band BC and the Foot Falcons refers, in their words, “to the human default of thinking the grass is always greener on the other side.”
While Lake Cargelligo’s Adam Kerezsy penned the instrumental ‘Waiting Game’ as “a haunting piece, played on slide guitar, that attempts to capture the feeling of not knowing what will happen next.”
‘I’d Hoped There’d Be More’ by the usually blues roots/ rock Safety of Life at Sea came, says Kris Schubert came “from thinking about people who have competed their training/studies, emerging into a chaotic world which hasn’t held up its side of the deal.”
Well-known crowd pleasers Smith & Jones from Bathurst end the album with the upbeat ‘Help This Little Heart of Mine’, a song about looking back to better times and the nostalgia for simple pleasures.
There’s also tracks from Cowra’s Josh Maynard, Lueth Ajak (Bathurst), Gavin Bowles (Hampton), Tic-Tok sensation Gabbi Bolt (Bathurst), Adam Enslow (Forbes), Amy Viola (Orange), and Andy Baylor (Cowra).
CD copies of the album can be purchased for $10 from artsoutwest.org.au and – when Covid restrictions ease – from visitor information centres and other retail outlets around the region.
Digital versions of each track will also be available from each artists’ preferred platform or site and Arts OutWest will share a Spotify playlist linking them together. See www.artsoutwest.org.au for links.
“It was important to us that the ownership and any digital sales of the tracks remain with the artists themselves. Part of the project has included professional development for the artists around making sure they’re set up to receive APRA/ AMCOSS royalties,” Ms Callinan said. “We hope these tracks can also be an entry point for people to discover these musicians’ other work.”
The album was funded by the NSW Government’s Arts Restart package. Proceeds from CD sales go back into supporting local musicians and live music events in the NSW Central West.