July 25, 2018 | Chris Familton

Watch the music video for "My Darling Kate"

Guest blogger Chris Familton reviews the next single off Nick’s album – “My Darling Kate”.

“My darling Kate, I won’t forget, you’ll always be my sweet duet.”

“My Darling Kate”: Nick Payne, and Katie Brianna

Dear Orphans front-person Nick Payne found a new family of songs when he stepped out as a solo artist and committed to writing and recording his debut album Rise Up Like A River (2016). An album as a study of characters within various Australian settings, both past and present, it embraced the solo troubadour as effectively as it placed his stories within more contemporary sonic landscapes, bristling with twangy guitars and swirling keys courtesy of The Wildes.

People and places inspired and encouraged the crafting of Rise Up Like A River. Nick’s partner Lyn Taylor (also of Dear Orphans) urged him to commit to the project and the album is dedicated to the memory of Karl Broadie who provided friendship, inspiration and musical direction in the making of the album. Nick’s songwriting is inspired by driving around the country and writing about places he’s visited. The geography of the album can be traced through the sand, asphalt and dusty trails of places such as the M1 North of Sydney, the beach north of Noosa, Kinchega National Park, the Cunningham Highway through Boonah and over Main Range National Park, the Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country and Loch Ard Gorge on the Great Ocean Road.

On the back of the singles “Old Sydney Town”, “Rising River” and “White Line Fever”, Payne now places the spotlight on the lilting shuffle of the exquisite “My Darling Kate”, a duet co-written and recorded with acclaimed Sydney songwriter Katie Brianna. The pair circle each other with call and response lines that paint a lyrical picture of the the pursuit of reluctant love. The character, pining for his muse, knows the futility of his folly and can see the trap he’s willingly falling into, yet, as the saying goes, love knows no boundaries.

“The co-write with Nick was easy. I love singing duets in general. I do a lot of backing vocals but not enough duets, so this was a fun one to collaborate on.” – Katie Brianna

To accompany the single, Nick self-directed a video clip that combines authentic country attire with modern instruments. There’s a focus on the vocal interplay between the two main characters and some wonderful improvised and contrasting “behind the scenes” footage that adds levity to the weighty tone of the song.

“I don’t want to believe it, you’re taking my breath and I’m drowning in your lies. You, you’re a callous deceiver. You swallowed me up as I fell for your brilliant disguise.”

“My Darling Kate”: Nick Payne, and Katie Brianna

“It’s clearly a break up song, and I like how it travels through an arc – from shock to anger to resignation. To me it’s a really positive song – a good news story,” says Payne. “There’s this really strong tradition that’s developed in more recent years in mainstream country music where a female is singing about how she’s dumping ‘his sorry arse’. I guess this song is a version of that, but without the misogynist overtones you’d get from a bloke singing it. Maybe it’s a form of advice to others on how to grieve, but then make peace,” Payne suggests.

Musically, the song is beautifully sparse, hanging on a thread of a rhythm section that gently guides the song along. Strummed acoustic and dark and moody electric guitars frame the tragic tale as a plaintiff late-night bar piano scatters melancholic melodies with the stately grace of a Nick Cave ballad.

As Payne explains, there was a concerted effort to achieve just the right balance between the different instruments and the space in the song. “Lachlan Bryan and Andrew Wrigglesworth (The Weeping Willows) debated for some time during the session on how to trade solos between Lachlan on the electric piano, and Andrew on the Telecaster. Multi-instrumentalist Damian Cafarella eventually piped in to encourage Andrew to hold back the guitar back until the second half of the instrumental, when he comes in low and gritty, channeling a Tom Waits vibe. Katie’s vocals, as always, are sublime.”

Chris Familton 2018

“My Darling Kate” music video


Katie Brianna: THE HEROINE
Linda Peterson: PIANO
Reece Denton: DRUMS


Director / Cinematographer / Editor / Colorist / Production Design: NICK PAYNE
Camera Operator: LYN TAYLOR
Camera Assistant: CRAIG MOFFAT
Lighting Operator / Stills Photographer: ZOE TAYLOR