AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW, OUT FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2016
“It's real life. It's a positive album, but I'm also saying there are hard times. If you take it one day at a time you can have your happy ever after.”
GOLDEN Guitar winner Amber Lawrence is set to release the most mature album of her career, Happy Ever After, on Friday, 30 September 2016 via Social Family Records, with the lead single at radio now.
Modern country, the title track from the new album is not about life being a fairytale – it’s quite the opposite, in fact. It points out how important it is to enjoy your ‘happy ever after’ each and every day rather than waiting for it to arrive. The single is now available on iTunes and is also the instant-grat track when pre-ordering the album.
Delving into dark places she's not trawled before, the 12-track Happy Ever After album is a whole lot of positivity with a strong dose of reality that life is never perfect.
“I think all my albums have been written through the eyes of a 17-year-old and have been really hopeful, but it's time to start looking at my life through the eyes of a woman in her thirties,” the singer-songwriter said. “It's real life. It's a positive album, but I'm also saying there are hard times that we go through. If you take it one day at a time you can have your happy ever after.”
With Shane Nicholson in the production seat (ARIA and Golden Guitar Winner), Happy Ever Aftercomes from a place where the 2015 Female Artist of the Year and CMC Oz Artist of the Year is so comfortable that she made the album she wanted to make – a reflective album, an honest album with integrity. Written between Nashville and Australia, the songs are carried on a bed of modern and fresh country music that allows Lawrence's vocals to shine without over-production impeding, giving the listener space to connect with the lyrics and relate the tracks to their own lives, with the personal yet universal themes.
The most personal track on the album is ‘The Lucky One’, which has Lawrence going into the darker times her family has experienced with the loss of her father to leukaemia, but recognising her family will always live in her songs.
“People my age have experienced the sadness of packing up a parent's stuff or a grandparent's stuff and not wanted to throw it all away, but the happy part is that I'll always have them in my life and my songs,” she said. “It comes back to that feeling that life is not perfect, but I'm still thankful for all the imperfections and family being the reason you can keep on keeping on.”
Lawrence celebrates strong women with Catherine Britt and Fanny Lumsden in ‘Cheers to the Girls’ – a rousing track that deals with bullying and domestic violence, but also empowerment without resorting to man-bashing. “I felt they (Catherine and Fanny) carried the message in the same way I do,” says Lawrence.
Another uplifting track is ‘Champion’, a love song based around the metaphor of a boxer. In the song, Lawrence is the boxer, and in her corner is her biggest supporter. “We all have one of these people in our lives, whether it’s our friend, our partner, our mother, father or anyone – it’s the person you rely on to help you go another ‘round”, she said.
One of the lighter themed tracks is ‘Un-complicate Me’, a fun and free-flowing song. Lawrence wrote this with her Nashville co-writers, Bobby Huff and James Slater, about how a great relationship can see you feeling like life is less complicated. The beat behind this track celebrates all that's good about modern country. Other standout tracks on the album include ‘Drive By Breakup’ (which likens a breakup to a drive by shooting), ‘Cash’ (pure country rock) and ‘Get Me Out of This’ (Lawrence’s first attempt at addressing lapsed religion in a song).
This is Lawrence's fifth studio album and her third release in the past 12 months. Most artists believe in releasing an album every two years, but the hard working singer-songwriter has released her live albumHometown Girl, children's album The Kid's Gone Country and rounded it off with Happy Ever After in the past 12 months. She credits her hardworking nature to having spent 9 years working in the corporate world before ‘throwing it all in’ to become a full time singer. “I work hard because I know how lucky I am, I have the world’s best job, and I never take that for granted.”
As well as making new music, Lawrence is spreading her message via a new radio initiative and as the family ambassador for the Tamworth Country Music Festival. The award-winning artist is hosting the country arm of iHeart Radio in Australia doing a one-hour program each week that goes behind-the-scenes uncovering things listeners may not know about artists. In her ambassadorial role, the proud Sydney girl is spreading the word that the Tamworth festival is a family-friendly event and encouraging families to spend a few days in the country, check out the award-winning Tamworth Regional Playground and to soak up country music. “It's a great role for me and exactly where I want to be,” she said.
Following the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Lawrence will hit the road with Catherine Britt and special guest, Fanny Lumsden to travel the nation in the first half of 2017.
For an artist who wants to be the one people think of when they think 'Australian country music', Lawrence is headed in the right direction to create her own Happy Ever After. Positive, deep, dark, light and mature, Happy Ever After is out September 30 and available for pre-order now. Exclusive fan pack’s are also available for pre-order via the SFR Store.