ON STAGE: Australian singer-songwriter William Crighton playing at Bluesfest Byron Bay.
ON STAGE: Australian singer-songwriter William Crighton playing at Bluesfest Byron Bay. RENAE SAXBY

William Crighton's new Empire marks his growth

EMPIRE is the new album by Australian singer songwriter William Crighton.

The artist is a favourite among Northern Rivers communities, who discovered him through Mullum Music festival some years ago and then propelled to new audiences via Bluesfest earlier this year.

His style is intense, but truthful and full of emotion, and that earns him fans after a couple of songs.

Joining Crighton and his wife Julieanne will be Josh Jones from Dan Sultan's band on bass and his collaborator Matt Sherrod (of Crowded House and Beck fame), who produced the album, and is travelling from Nashville to play drums.

"The shows will be a new experience. There'll be songs from both Empire and my first album and songs we only play live," he said.

The musician said Empire offers a number of different feelings.

"There are moments in this album that were uncomfortable to write because I was looking at my history in the face and my life and asking myself some hard questions, but on the flip side, there are songs of happiness and morning songs that are very joyous.

"The album is a journey, it was a journey to write and it's a journey to listen to."

The album also offers some songs co-written with his wife Julieanne, or Jules as he calls her, so audiences get to hear some points of view that reflect their creativity as a couple.

The most intriguing part of William Crighton's music is the undertones of clear emotion layered in emotional soundscapes together with his clever song-writing, and when asked about this, the artist acknowledges this is part of his own personal growth.

"I'm an emotional person and I have certainly grown into expressing my emotions better as a man," he said.

"When I was in my teens and early 20s I was probably too whatever to investigate my emotions fully.

"Now in my early 30s I am confident to assess my emotional state and let that slither into my music in an open way, and not pay any attention on any possible parameters that could be imposed on art or life in general."

Crighton said Empire was written in a different way to his first album.

"For the first album I was in Burrinjuck, down in the Murrumbidgee River (60Km from Yass) near Canberra, and we were living there, I spent a lot of time in the bush, my work was very close and I just casually wrote the album as it came about," he said.

"This album was a lot more hectic in its formation, I was on the road a lot, and working a lot playing music, my two daughter were getting older and starting school, and I was travelling internationally as well, so I found the songs were more reactionary to my immediate situation.

"I was writing about things that were happenign to me there an then, rather than the first album that was very reflective."

  • At The Northern in Byron Bay on Saturday, July 15. Tickets on sale now via www.oztix.com.au.

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