Aleyce Simmonds is not afraid to bare her soul in her award-winning songs.
Her fourth and most recent album, Here and Now, contains multiple tributes to her late father-in-law.
"I wanted him to live forever, so I wrote many of the songs for and about him," Simmonds says.
"I was helping looking after [him]. He was terminally ill ... we lost him just before the album was released."
Her lyrics on songs such as Everything or Nothing at All give an insight into her loyalty and pain: "I will hold you while you breathe / I will learn your dreams by heart / I will love you through the dark / I will give this all I'm worth ..."
An earlier album, Believe, recorded six years ago, also records pivotal moments in Simmonds' life.
"Inspiration came from from childhood. There's (I hope) a beautiful song about my brother who passed away as a baby."
Family is a common theme throughout her work.
Here and Now features a collaboration with country music legend John Williamson on Three Sons, a song Williamson originally released in 1998, about ties that bind generations of a family together.
Here and Now was recorded just before the pandemic and while it quickly became the No.1 country album in the iTunes charts, lockdowns meant Aleyce had to cancel a planned national tour in which she would promote the album and its songs.
"I put so much effort into Here and Now and cancelling my Australian tour was absolutely devastating," she said.
READ AND LISTEN MORE:
You can hear some of Simmonds music and listen to a full interview with the rising country star as part of a new podcast, Celebrating Aussie Country, produced by ACM (publisher of this website) and available now on Spotify.
During the interview, Simmonds talks about her Golden Guitar win in 2018.
"A Golden Guitar award is the absolute pinnacle for a country music artist," she said.
That year, up against the likes of Casey Chambers, Simmonds had no thought that she would win. Even when her name was read out on stage, it took a few minutes for the reality to sink in.
"My mum elbowed me and said 'that's you'," she says. "I was in a state of disarray. I stood up, everyone was clapping, and I went to receive this Golden Guitar, which was a dream come true."
Simmonds had been dreaming of clutching the Golden Guitar statuette ever since she was 12, when her parents let her attend a Golden Guitars awards night.
"We were at the showground, I was looking at the country music stars on stage and was thinking, maybe one day I could be like one of those."
To mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic Tamworth Country Music Festival, ACM (publisher of this website) created a new podcast, Celebrating Aussie Country.
The podcast was recorded and released before the recent surge in coronavirus cases that forced the festival's postponement. We are sure you'll still enjoy the interviews and the music. Just bear in mind any references to performance dates are no longer current.
In the 10-part series, available only on Spotify, you'll hear from established and emerging artists and their music.
To listen, you'll need to download the Spotify app on to your mobile phone and search for Celebrating Aussie Country. If you already have Spotify - and you're reading this story on your mobile - click on the banner below and your phone will take you direct to the podcast.
Each podcast episode includes an interview with the artist and some of their music. People with free Spotify subscriptions will hear a 30-second snippet of the song, while those with premium Spotify subscriptions can enjoy the full version.
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