Heart Songs is Alison's debut album of original work, released in July 2019. It is a deeply personal collection of 10 songs written over the past few years.
Throughout the disjointed time of lockdown 2020, I had the time and space to revisit some of my favourite songs, and learn some new ones. I was been moved to create a collection of these covers, in a project I have called Circa Aurora - around the time of Corona. Whenever I feel the need, I will be adding to this collection. These songs will be ones I have generally not covered before, or have endeavoured to put my own stamp on each by commissioning a tailored backing, changing the key, tempo or tune.
Online initiatives such as @homegrownsuperstarsau on Instagram have encouraged me to look outside my comfort zone when it comes to song choices, styles and genres. I have relished the fresh task of allowing my imagination and creativity to run wild.
Sunshine Sundays is a bright little number accompanied by a ukulele, my ode to sunny summer days and having a relaxing time. Released in October 2019 to celebrate the start of Day Light Savings.
For the Rest of My Life was released on Valentines Day 2020. A fantastic music video was made to accompany this song, locations of Blackfellows Caves and Blok Gardens Mt Gambier, by Astyn Reid of Kinship Productions. The artwork for the album was made by South Australian artist Cassie Zaccardo
New versions of songs from the Heart Songs album
The Nadine remix was released on St Patricks Day 2020. This remix is the version I always wanted it to be - using traditional Celtic instruments. We just just couldn't get access to musicians at the time of recording Heart Songs. The photo was taken by my dear Irish friend Helen and the significance of Tassagh is that it is a town close to where she grew up in Northern Ireland.
The Celtic instruments of the Bodhran, tin whistle and 12 string guitar were played by French musician Samuel Meric.
I had always planned to release this song in March 2020, but as it turned out, this song took on a whole new meaning as I sang it at my last gig before the covid-19 pandemic was declared and life changed instantly. It would be another 12 months before I sang live again. Hernan Romero plays piano on the track.
My Nana, who this song was written about, was born in 1927. It was only fitting that I name the remix after her. It was released in June 2020. Hernan Romero plays piano on the track, as well as composing the piano part.
When I first wrote Here with Us Tonight, it was quite slow. When it was being Produced for the Heart Songs album it took a different turn and ended up quite an upbeat pop song. Liam's remix, named for the baby the song was written about in 2017, harks back my original version, with a little twist on the melody. Ege Erdem plays piano on this track.
Christmas / Holidays
I've always loved a dance, so for a bit of fun I collaborated with DJ and Producer Chris Zio to make a dance floor banger of Kasper. Id love to hear what you think!
In late 2019 I was asked to sing at our local Christmas Carols. I thought it would be a great opportunity to sing one of my own songs, so i set about writing it. I actually wrote this song at work, I work in childcare and one day i was sitting next to a cot patting a child to sleep. The tempo which I was patting in became the song and the words just flowed. I wrote the words down that day and there you have it!
I reached out to my social media community to help me put together a video clip for this song made up of photos of loved ones no longer with them at Christmas time. I was humbled by the response and an honoured to be able to share them. This track was the first one I worked on with Hernan Romero on Piano, a partnership which proves to be quite fruitful in the coming months.
In late 2020 it became apparent that the regular public held Christmas carols was not going to be possible in my town of Mount Gambier. The organisers made a decision to host the event online, live streamed all around the world. Myself and my sister Emma were lucky enough to be invited to perform, myself as a soloist and also doing a duet.
The Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre hosted the event with plenty of locals coming on board to play in the band, do the sound, record video and do photography.
Coming in 2021
WOLF is a 6 track EP, a deep dive into the uncomfortable subject of post natal depression. The Wolf plays the role of the PND and I am akin to Little Red Riding Hood. I am taken over by the Wolf, consumed and destroyed.
After the birth of my 1st child in 2015 I knew I was experiencing PND but never acknowledged it and never sought help. I was diagnosed after the fact. Fast forward 7 years later when I had my 2nd child, the Wolf really came to get me, and I suffered severe PND. This time I sought help and with that help from many health professionals was able to recover.
I am a big believer in talking about mental health and breaking the stigma that goes along with it. That's why I recorded a podcast with local mental health help group Lifeboat SE, in April 2019 and you can listen to it here. I am also proud to be a community ambassador for the group.
Wolf is being recorded in Spain and Argentina, and produced in Spain by Hernan Romero who I have worked with many times before as an accompanist. I record my vocals in my home studio and send them off. Almost all 6 songs are written and the first track is finished. We are hopeful that it will be ready to share with the world before the end of 2021.
You can follow along with updates on the recording here.