Carus-Thompson-IslandCarus Thompson’s sixth album – his first in six years – opens with a tribute to Bon Scott. “You were always gonna crash land,” Thompson sings. “Gonna sing in a rock ’n’ roll band, livin’ hard, crowd in your hand.”

Thompson doesn’t possess Scott’s cheekiness or knack for ribald rhymes, but he does know how to tell a distinctly Australian story with evocative images. First single Beach Fires vividly brings to life the ice epidemic ravaging regional areas. Thompson recalls watching “friends’ faces in the flicking of beach fires”, but now sees only “strangers and dead eyes”. This is quality songwriting.

Island is out now via MGM.

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