Singer-songwriter Michelle Cashman lives on the South Coast of New South Wales/Tharawal country and last year released her first single, ‘Guys Like You’. Her latest single is the captivating ‘Praying for Rain’, which Cashman wrote at the CMAA Academy of Country Music with recent Golden Guitar winner Melody Moko and recorded with producer Shane Nicholson.
While praying for rain is something that literally happens all over Australia in times of drought, in this song it is more metaphorical – praying for a drought inside a relationship to end.
‘We were right in the thick of the drought and the middle of the bushfires and I was watching the devastation on the news,’ says Cashman of the time during which she wrote the song. ‘I had lived on property just prior to that, and it was right at the end of my marriage when I came to Tamworth. Melody and I had a half-hour songwriting spot and that’s it and the song was finished.
‘I just felt like I wanted to write about the idea of the drought, but not just the lack of rain drought, but this feeling of drought inside, so we sat down and started pumping out all these metaphors of what it’s like to be in that space.’
Cashman’s heartache – heartbreak, even – can be heard so distinctly on this song. While she has an outstanding voice anyway, she is noticeably drawing from a deeper well in this song – and it’s also clear to hear that her strength builds towards the end of the song, so the implication is no longer that she’s begging for rain but hoping for it. That hope is hard won, which makes it all the more meaningful.