[Sometimes it’s just not possible to cover all the great Australian country music being released in a timely fashion because, well, I’m not always able to keep up. So my solution was to find a way to post about some of the albums from this year that I didn’t cover in said timely fashion, so that they’re not missed entirely. Therefore, ‘Summer listening’ is a label for short reviews of albums that are going to make your (Australian) summer brighter.]

Travis Collins was nominated for an ARIA for his latest album, Wreck Me, and it’s also garnered him nominations for several awards in the upcoming 49th Golden Guitars. If awards are your thing, you’ve probably already been motivated to listen to Wreck Me. But if you haven’t, do. Collins is a consistent and reliable performer – and neither of those adjectives is a synonym for ‘boring’. In his case they mean that you’re always going to be listening to an album that is produced to high standards, that has tight songs, in which Collins will use his fantastic voice – so well suited to country music – to make sure those songs find their best expression. He’s also consistently producing better albums each time, which makes Wreck Me his best yet.

Wreck Me is a party album in that it has a lot of songs that will make you want to turn up the volume and stomp along – hence its suitability for summer listening (in Australia, that is, where life has almost returned to pre-COVID normal) – and it’s a sophisticated party album because each song offers a lot for people who appreciate great music. One could hypothesise that Collins is a perfectionist, because these songs are exactly as they should be; if you’ve seen him play live, with his blistering guitar skills and great capacity to entertain, that label sounds appropriate. So by all means turn up that volume and enjoy – or turn it down and listen closely. Either way, your time will be well spent.

**For those who do prefer to listen closely, Collins has just released an acoustic version of the album – link below original album**

Wreck Me is out now through ABC Music/Universal