The Australian country music scene might be comparably small (majorly due to the low number of citizens in Down Under) – but I am very often amazed when I listen to Aussie country music. One artist I enjoyed listening here and then is the 19 year old Kora Naughton from New South Wales. On 19th March 2021, she released her second album Nineteen – here is my review.
Kora Naughton – About The Artist
Kora Naughton is a young country-pop singer songwriter from Albion Park in New South Wales, Australia. She grew up in the city South of Sydney with the dream to become a successful chearleader. A spinal surgery made her stop performing the sports, so that she turned into music. She got in touch and in love with country music in 2017 and her first singles got some really decent chart playcements in her home country. On the long-play side, she debuted with the album Ride Or Die in 2018. Nineteen is her second album.
Kora Naughton – Nineteen – Track by Track
The thirteen song album lasts 47 minutes.
The song starts with a snipping finger rhythm but then more and more develops towards a nice and melodic country-pop song. Nice starter of into these thirteen song travel.
2. Lap Around The Sun
I adjusted the sound mixing on my work desk several times until I had to give in: Kora Naughton is really a bit too quiet in my point of view in this song. Overall, it is a song, which slightly exceeds average level and is not really an argument to start listening to the Australian.
3. Lay Down & Die
Lay Down & Die is a beautiful piano ballad. The song is definitely one of the most beautiful ones on the album – thus, it also deserves to be the longest one on the album.
4. Till We Drop
Till We Drop is a very interesting track. Kora Naughton sounds very energetic and angry. This song overall feels like a dark country track with a rock touch. Devilish – and good!
5. Devil On Your Shoulder
After the song I just called “devilish”, there is already the Devil On Your Shoulder. The song is a very straight and nicely done modern country song, which later moves a bit closer towards pop, as the rhythm is taking over more control. One of my favorites.
Blessings is a nice follow-up song to the fifth one. The songs have very similar elements, this one is, however, a bit more melodic. Really good.
Collateral is part of Nineteen in two versions – this “original” one and the Love Hz Mix at the end of the album. A very interesting contrast in different instrumentation. The groovy guitar licks in the background in this version, add a nice touch to the verses. The chorus feels comparably thin compared to that.
8. Headed Up
This part of the album is definitely my favorite one – even though Collateral is causing rather mixed feelings at me. I like Kora’s singing in Headed Up – it comes with a very characteristic sound. Being easy to recognize in the world is not too bad at all.
9. Smokin’ and Cryin’
Smokin’ and Cryin’ is the most melancholic melody on Nineteen. I really enjoy listening to Kora here – her vocals at long low notes feel a bit too imprecise, unfortunately. Still a good song.
10. My Heart To Break
My Heart To Break is another single of the album. I don’t like the first part of the song at all, but with the first chorus becomes much more enjoyable and melodic. The song finally even stays in your head. Good.
11. Last This Summer (feat. Bryce Sainty)
For the eleventh song of the album, Kora Naughton is joined by Bryce Sainty. The song could be a great title song for one of these kitschy teen TV series. Then, at least, the song would likely be much better than the TV show – the song is really a nice duet.
12. What About Me
What About Me feels a bit like the closing track of the album, as it is only followed by the additional version of Collateral. The slow song indeed has a certain farewell touch. Rather a pop / rock song than country, but a nice one, especially due to the presence to the piano sounds.
13. Collateral (Love Hz Mix)
The Love Hz Mix version of Collateral does not differ significantly on the vocal side. The background melody is quite interestingly altered: the chorus feels a bit like electro pop, while the chorus of this version comes with the energy I would have expected on the seventh track of this album. Thus, I am tempted to enjoy Collateral better in this kind of style.
Kora Naughton – Nineteen – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify
Kora Naughton – Nineteen – Track by Track
There is a lot of talent and potential in Australian country music. Bad luck that these artists are very often not that much in focus as the US, Canadian or British boot stompers are. Kora Naughton’s Nineteen is not good enough for top ratings – but it is a really solid country pop album, which is especially good in its middle part. Nice recordings, which I absolutely recommend to have a listen to.