Award-winning and cherished songbird Kim Churchill rises with his seventh studio album Dawn Sounds. An earnest ode to the joyous peaks and liberating pits of life’s journey, Dawn Sounds celebrates sentimentality and new beginnings. A sincere collection of heart-warming and poignant songs, the album is layered with acoustic guitar beds and earthy elements, on a bed of his trademark compelling vocals and storytelling. Currently in the midst of his biggest home soil tour ever, Kim is plotting his way across all corners of Australia in 2023, in celebration of the new album. The anticipated album has been warmly welcomed by live audiences across the country, as Kim has graced stages with very special previews ahead of its release. Kim answers a few questions about the album and upcoming tour.
Seven albums in, does it get any easier?
Haha! Yeah, I think so. There are less flukes. I feel like flukes are very dangerous in the world of recorded music. You can chase flukes for years and years. These days I have many beautiful and unique processes of capturing a glimpse of the song and I see them out there in the eternal creative realm with more frequency and a better understanding of how I got to them.
Sonically, do you think your sound has changed much between albums?
Not heaps. I think I’ve strayed from time to time and this has been fun but potentially a little bit confusing. What I’ve been really leaning into, accepting and enjoying is the things I do well – play guitar and sing a song I wrote about the world and my experience of it. There is definitely a sonic journey across my releases but essentially it’s always this simple little recipe.
Did COVID slow you down a bit?
Yeah for sure. Not for wanting to keep going though. Miraculously, weeks before we all started fighting over loo rolls my friend and I put the finishing touches on a stage and solar powered PA system that slides out of my van. During Covid I was still able to play a lot of small outdoor events. It was hard work to fit into all the rules but they were very special shows. But yeah, I still got super slow here and there. Lots of practice at doing nothing – which is a handy skill I think.
Did everything go to plan recording the album?
Yes, it really did. During the slow moments of the lock downs I developed a beautiful ritual of writing from 5am till 8am in the mornings. The birds would slowly chime in as the day would awaken and the sky would gently fill with blue. We recorded Dawn Sounds this way too. We went to the music farm in the Northern Rivers and flung open the doors and hung microphones from the tree’s and I played non stop from 5 until 8 each morning. Then we’d go surf and have breakfast. Then listen. Then start overdubs, like clockwork. It was a really beautiful time.
What is the story behind the single Go Try Fall?
I wrote it at a point when I was becoming very comfortable and accepting of the cycles of life. Things bloom and blossom and then they fail and wither. Everything does this, even when we resist with all our will. I wanted to celebrate my understanding of the cycles and of letting them swirl around as they do. I want to get on the bike, and then fall off, and then get on again. It’s life.
Did writing end up being more therapeutic than you thought for this album?
Absolutely. It’s a form of journaling and a style of travelog. I think most artists end up creating because they’d be super messed up if they didn’t. This is definitely true for me.
Did any of your music heroes have influence on this album?
I think I took a lot from my love of Neil Young. Mainly in terms of creating the right environment and situation for wonderful live takes to happen. Everything on this album is a live take from somewhere over those three mornings. I also kept instrumentation really minimal. I think that came from Neil too.
How do you prepare for such a massive tour?
I basically work with my agent and we talk to all the people and communities I know around the country and plan all the places. It’s based a lot on aesthetics and the right environment for the songs. Some camper van gigs. Some venues and halls and theatres. I don’t ever really stop touring though. So the live show is kind of always prepped! Haha.
Is touring more of a lifestyle for you now?
For sure. It is my life. Everything revolves around the adventure to the next show. It inspired my songs and is the ultimate adventure.
Are you looking to tour extensively over the summer?
Yeah, the Dawn Sounds tour hits fifty seven different towns or cities or localities. It’s at a nice pace though. Loads of time to explore and surf and be creative.
Beyond this massive tour what’s next for Kim Churchill?
Well… Then I hit Europe for that leg of the tour. That one is about fifty shows across three months. I then hit North America for the same thing. I think it will all wrap up around October and I’ll probably have a bunch of new songs for a new album. I’m also super keen to buy camper-vans in Europe and North America. If I can and set them up like my van here.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Kim Churchill on the following dates, BUY TICKETS…
Sunday 15 January 2023 Kooroona Hotel, Mt Bulla VIC
Friday 20 January 2023 Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine VIC
Saturday 21 January 2023 Noodledorf Brewing & Distilling Co., Koroit VIC
Thursday 26 January 2023 Heritage Hotel, Wollongong NSW
Friday 27 January 2023 Drifters Wharf, Central Coast NSW
Sunday 29 January 2023 Blacksmith Providore, Yarrawonga VIC
Thursday 2 February 2023 Miami Marketta, Gold Coast QLD w/ Sons Of The East
Saturday 4 February 2023 Festival of King Island, King Island TAS
Friday 10 February 2023 Ambleside Distillery, Hahndorf SA
Saturday 11 February 2023 Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide SA
Sunday 12 February 2023 Theatre 44, Broken Hill NSW
Thursday 16 February 2023 No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen NSW
Friday 17 February 2023 Lefty’s Music Hall, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 18 February 2023 Making 40@Chiggy’s Skateboarding, Noosa QLD
Friday 24 February 2023 Driftwood Estate, Margaret River WA
Sunday 26 February 2023 Suburban Vibes, Fremantle WA
Friday 3 March 2023 The Great Club, Sydney NSW
Saturday 4 March 2023 Friendly Inn, Kangaroo Valley NSW
Friday 10 March – Sunday 12 March 2023 Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy VIC
Friday 17 March 2023 Haba, Rye VIC
Saturday 18 March 2023 The Night Cat, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 25 March 2023 Moruya Blues & Roots Festival, Moruya NSW