Courtney Keil is becoming one of the most exciting talents in Australian country music
22.02.2021

Courtney Keil is becoming one of the most exciting talents in Australian country music

Words by Talia Rinaldo

Keil has just released her sophomore single, ‘Hummingbird’, born out of Melbourne’s 2020 lockdown.

From the rugged hills of Adelaide to the shores of Melbourne comes bright-eyed, country-oriented singer-songwriter Courtney Keil with her sophomore single ‘Hummingbird’.

Born out of the Melbourne 2020 lockdown, the upbeat and inspiring single combines Keil’s smooth vocals with a mix of melodic pop and classic country that swirls around positive messages in a state of euphoria.

Driven by an instantly-engaging melody that would see you rolling down the windows on a drive along the coast, ‘Hummingbird’ creates a magnetic effect as Keil sings simply about the world as if she’s the first person to notice, and you’re the first one she’s telling.

With nods to the ’90s bearing flavours of Lady A and Kacey Musgraves, ‘Hummingbird’ is alluringly cohesive, both lyrically and musically, championed by lush vocals, catchy vocal hooks and a spellbinding rhythm section, with guitar licks reminiscent of some of Taylor’s Swift’s earlier releases.

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Spawned from a time of mandatory self-isolation, ‘Hummingbird’ is all about focusing on pursuing the positive things in life, absorbing all of the negativity from one of the strangest years of our lives and converting it into the sunny disposition that we all need.

“’Hummingbird’ was written as a reminder to choose positive things in life over negative. As there will always be reasons and circumstances that try to pull us down, [however] there is power in rising above these situations,” Keil explains.

“If we make a conscious effort to spread love and positivity around instead, we can make the world a better place. 2020 brought out some of the very best and the worst in people and the world, so the inspiration for this song occurred in the heat of trying to shift the focus on all things good.”

Joining forces with platinum-selling producer Rod McCormack for the second time, Keil found the sound she was searching for to bring ‘Hummingbird’ to life, drawing on inspiration from classic artists along with current and fresh sounds.

“Rod is not only a phenomenal producer but also an incredible songwriter, musician and mentor. I can’t quite express the positive impact he has had on my career,” Keil says of McCormack.

“Not only did he jump on board to work with me before I had any music released but he was so willing to invest his time and talents into making music we are both proud of. Having Rod and his gorgeous wife/country superstar Gina Jeffreys in my corner has been the greatest pleasure and so comforting as I’ve embarked on my musical journey.

The tender grandeur of the track was then brought to life with the musical prowess of Templeton Thompson (Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina, Little Texas) and Sam Gay (Deric Ruttan, Little Texas, Bryan White).

“We all jumped on Zoom to utilise all the ‘spare time’ we were suddenly facing after my writing and recording trip to Nashville was cancelled last minute. The idea and concept of the song just came from us trying to shift focus onto [life’s] positives … and write a song that would be an uplifting reminder to spread love and joy.”

Much like her previous release and debut single ‘I Just Wanna Hold You’ (which went to No. 1 on the iTunes Country Singles Chart), ‘Hummingbird’ is a testament to Keil’s lyrical depth, emotional connection and ability to create engaging music that speaks the truth. Bright and lively from the first notes, the sophomore track puts Keil’s knack for experimental flare front and centre, without straying too far from her signature sound.

“My new release ‘Hummingbird’ definitely keeps with my overall sound from my debut, we purposely have wanted to keep some continuity while bringing some new flair,” says Keil.

“An album is on the cards and something I am working towards. I have a few more things up my sleeve in the meantime as I work on the album and will continue to be dripping music out this year to give people the chance to really get to know me!”

 

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Clocking in at just over three minutes of pure bliss, ‘Hummingbird’ is a testament to Keil’s growth over the last few years. Having only released her aforementioned debut late last year, the humble singer-songwriter has been working towards this moment for many years, with the sturdy support of McCormack, five-time Golden Guitar Winner Gina Jeffreys and Renee Grant-Williams (Keith Urban, Garth Brooks) by her side.

“I’m so grateful for the incredible people who’ve mentored me throughout my career, they really have shaped who I have become,” she explains.

“I definitely felt pressure in the lead up to the release, not pressure from anyone other than myself of course though! I think it was natural to feel a certain level of pressure as for me it was a long-awaited build-up to finally sharing who I am as an artist and songwriter. I felt confident and proud of the single created but still managed to wake up before 5am on release day – too excited to sleep!”

To accompany the release, Keil’s music video further boasts a serene landscape of positivity, spearheaded by seven-time Golden Guitar Winner Duncan Toombs of The Filmery. Set up in the clouds, the clip features a radiant Keil against a bright blue backdrop exploring a state of perfect happiness.

“The idea behind the clip was to create a carefree, fun, dreamworld giving viewers a positive feel-good experience. It was an absolute pleasure working with Duncan again as he had the innate ability to create and execute the ‘set in the clouds’ theme to such a high standard.”

A welcome and timely reminder of what can be achieved with a little bit of positivity, this easy-going country pop ballad is simply the second chapter of an extremely promising career.

Check out the video for ‘Hummingbird’ below.

‘Hummingbird’ is out now. For more on Courtney Keil, head to her website and Facebook page.