In 2017 Mandy Hawkes, a singer-songwriter from Byron Bay, NSW/Arakwal country, released the EP The Water Was Deep, recorded and co-produced by Bill Chambers, and has played at various festivals in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, including Mullumbimby Music Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival and The River Folk Festival.

The Water Was Deep was a collection of songs contemplating death, afterlife and Hawkes’s religious upbringing. On her new single, ‘They Say Love’ – recorded and co-produced by another Byron Bay local, Jordan Power – Hawkes continues her interest in the themes that power our lives, and art.

‘I had been reading a lot of relationship self-help books which gave the promise of change, growth and relationship redemption,’ Hawkes explains. ‘I wondered if this was actually possible. Could love really change a person?’

Hawkes says she was raised on ‘hymns and Dylan’, and Biblical imagery appears in this haunting, lilting new song, which itself sounds like a hymn to the possibilities of transformation. It is also the first single from Hawkes’s new album, which is due for release later this year. Given Hawkes’s previous releases it promises to be a release of substance matched by the depth apparent in her vocals.

Brisbanites can see Hawkes play live at the Junk Bar on 23 July with Francis Kneebone. Tickets on sale now via Oztix.