We are lucky to have a wealth of wonderful country music artists in Australia, and so many of them are accessible to fans and open about their work that it can be easy to forget that it is actually very difficult to consistently produce excellent music, let alone win awards for it. To apply yourself to writing good songs, to working them up to the point of recording, to recording and producing them, then releasing them to an audience who may or may not react the way you want takes dedication and commitment, and no small amount of courage, especially when presenting those songs also involves playing them live to audiences all around the country.

Amber Lawrence is an artist from Sydney who has five Golden Guitars and has just released her seventh studio album, Living for the Highlights, and it’s safe to say that she is one of those artists who consistently produces music that is worth listening to. What’s also safe to say is that Living for the Highlights is one of the most thoughtful and sometimes magical responses to the world we’ve all lived in over the past two and a bit years. In that time Lawrence has had some highs and some terrible lows, and what she has chosen to do with them is produce great art. One could say that’s her job but, again, it’s not easy to do it over and over. So when we spoke recently about her new album I wanted to take a different approach: song by song. It’s a longer-than-normal interview but Lawrence generously gave many insights into the writing of the album and the stories behind the songs. This is a record of a leading artist at work, and worth the time. You can watch our chat in YouTube or listen in Soundcloud.