The debut status of Angus Gill’s album Nomad belies the fact that he is no novice in the Australian country music game. Already a Star Maker grand finalist and a three-time graduate of the CMAA Academy of Country Music, Gill has the credentials to create an impressive debut – and, as it turns out, he has the talent too.
Nomad is identifiably an Australian country music album that draws on its lineage – with shades of Slim Dusty and Lee Kernaghan – and also sounds like an album that a young man would release. Gill’s voice has a youthful lightness to it that’s paired with the seriousness with which he’s taken his craft and his history.
These are songs of the road, of mishaps and friendships, of hope and light. Gill doesn’t shy away from including genuine emotion in a song (‘Starin’ Out the Back of a Car’) but he’s also not averse to writing a very catchy song about traffic (‘Country Bloke City Driving’). This contrast does not seem at all incongruous, and that is, no doubt, due to Gill’s background in country music. Despite his youth, he’s paid a certain amount of dues, and he deserves respect accordingly – as evidenced by the appearance of luminaries such as Kevin Bennett and Adam Harvey on the album.
Come January, Gill will doubtless have many returning and new fans at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and this album almost sounds like it was born of the festival, because it is so evocative of its genre and also captures the energy and enthusiasm that is characteristic of the festival. The album has an identity beyond that, of course, and it will be in farm houses and townhouses, on country roads and in that confounded city traffic. Gill has made an album that will please the traditionalists no end and also appeal to audiences around his age. This is quite a feat – no doubt the first of many.
Nomad is out now.