Album cover artwork for William CrightonIt starts with the sound of crows squawking and a rumbling didgeridoo. William Crighton’s music transports the listener somewhere else.

On his third album, the terrain is the Aussie outback and all the mysteries, menace and magic it has to offer.

Crighton burns with the ragged intensity of the Warumpi Band and he’s a classic Australian storyteller like Neil Murray and John Schumann. He’s also a strikingly singular talent, who paints vivid images before being devastatingly direct. “I don’t understand why our elected leaders become bottom feeders to the corporate man,” he rages in Your Country.

But then there’s hope, in his interpretation of Henry Lawson’s After All (Good World). “My heart grows brave,” he declares, “and the world to me is a good world after all.”

Water and Dust by William Crighton is out Feb 11 via ABC.

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