Album cover artwork with black vinyl record popping outLike all of us, Troy Cassar-Daley did it pretty tough in 2020. Also, he was dealing with his dad’s death as well as some marital issues. And then the pandemic struck.

Unable provide for his family, the country star felt hopeless. But music saved him. “Against all odds, I still believe,” he declares on his 11th studio album, though it remains a fragile balancing act.

“Sometimes I’m hopeless,” he adds in Broken Hearts Can Fly, “then I’m a king.”

Cassar-Daley has crafted a record that addresses both the personal and the political, with songs that are heartfelt and true. “What are you going to do for the world today?” he asks in the title track, a hymn of healing and hope in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. And he calls for unity in Back On Country: “No matter what your bloodlines, we belong to this land… You might be black, you could be white, but come and join the choir.”

Cassar-Daley is one of our biggest country stars, but he has broadened his sound. The World Today – which features co-writes with Paul Kelly, Don Walker, Shane Howard, Ian Moss and Kevin Bennett – owes as much to the bluesy working-class rock of Springsteen and Chisel as it does traditional country. As he sings, “Our many tribes all come together here.”

The World Today by Troy Cassar-Daley is out March 19 via Sony.

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