EP review: Upside by Kylie Gale

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Kylie Gale is a singer-songwriter from Lake Macquarie, NSW/Awabakal country who released her debut single ‘Pushback’ in 2019 and ‘Fading to Grey’ last year. Both tracks appear on Gale’s debut EP, Upside, which was released earlier this month and debuted at number 1 on the iTunes Country albums chart and number 10 on the iTunes All Genres albums chart. The country-pop EP was produced by Simon Johnson at Hillbilly Hut and is a substantial offering of six tracks.

Gale writes about the vagaries of life – the little choices we make every day that add up to big decisions in the long run. The feature track, ‘Torn in Two’, is ‘about wanting to play all the time,’ she says, ‘but you’re also leaving the kids at home all the time and they’re asking, “Where are you going this time and how long are you going to be?” It’s about finding that balance, following what I want to do, but also loving the kids when I’m home.’ The choice Gale talks about here is to do with her wanting to pursue something she loves even and standing up for that. And, indeed, a lot of the songs on this EP are about standing up for yourself and what’s important to you.

This stance is made convincing by the strength in Gale’s voice, which sounds like it comes from deep within her. There is compassion there, too; her songs seem to come from a place of understanding that most of us do the best we can and those little choices we make each day come from a good place. The last track, ‘A Bit Like Her’, is a lovely tribute to an older female relative; it too is about choices made and those Gale can still make, to be ‘a bit like her’.

At a time when we all still need some inspiration and some gumption, this EP has both. Put it on at the start of the day to help motivate you to go out in the world (or, at the moment, stay at home) and embrace what’s there, or at the end of the day for reflection. It can serve several different purposes, and all of them good.

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