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Emma Donovan – New Album ‘Til My Song Is Done’

Country soul queen and revered Indigenous singer songwriter Emma Donovan will release her highly anticipated new album Til My Song is Done tomorrow via Cooking Vinyl Australia. She also unveils the track Sing You Over featuring Paul Kelly – view here.

Emma explains, “The lyrics to Sing You Over came from actually singing to my mother at the time I knew she was ready to leave this place and start her journey to her dreaming.

“I grew up singing songs about where we go to in the afterlife. There’s a song close to my heart that I have known all my life called The Promised Land that my grandfather wrote in the 1970’s and it tells the story of where we go after we pass. I wanted to write something similar about my Mum going to that eternal place of rest. 

“The other person I had in mind for this song was Uncle Archie Roach and I was thinking of the connection I have with all the musicians connected to him. It was the reason I got Paul Kelly involved in the song because of his deep friendship with Uncle Archie. It made sense for him be a part of it and have that sing with Unc too and join us playing the harmonica.”

Til My Song is Done is seen as a return home for Donovan, getting back to the sounds of country and her creative and performing roots, conveying a musical journey from singing those big country numbers as a kid, to joining her family performing church songs at community funerals, to the kitbag of skills picked up her over later collaborations in funk, soul, and R&B.

Comprising of 11 tracks it also features acclaimed singer songwriter Liz Stringer on the album’s opening track ‘Change is Coming’. 

Faced with an opportunity to record her first solo album in 20 years and her first album after 8 years without The Putbacks ensemble, Donovan says she was propelled into some deep introspection.

“I wanted to approach the album as a clean slate, but looking back at what makes me who I am,” Donovan explains. “I began by asking myself, who am I? Who is Emma Donovan? And what do I want to do? I want to be the deadly granddaughter, niece, and daughter. I want to make my family proud.

“Til My Song is Done is honouring that legacy of our family country music ways.

“That’s exactly what this album is for me, like if they’re proud and they’re happy, if the family is honoured, that’s all I need to know. And mum would be proud.

“I know this album is just the start of continuing to stand strong not only for my daughters but for all the other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women working in the Australian music industry today.”

Til My Song is Done is like travelling the coast ways, the falls country, and over to the western plains on one circuitous, single long drive. It conjures up sun-drenched, solitary highways, suffused with country radio and shafts of bright light spearing through the windows.

On a personal level, it’s pop and nan, her uncles, aunties, cousins, dad and mum travelling together, working together, singing together.

All songs were co-written and produced by Emma and Mick Meagher (The Putbacks, The Bamboos, Kate Ceberano, The Pigram Brothers, Ross Hannaford) with the two sharing a powerful, creative connection, harking back to their shared Black Arm Band days. 

The physical CD version of the album contains a bonus track, a very moving and special song penned by Emma, who says “I wrote the song, Troubled Graves and Fences about the horrific incident that happened to the young fellah, Cassius.” 

Fifteen-year-old Cassius Turvey was assaulted in October 2022 in Perth, Western Australia, and died as a result of his injuries.

“It was my response to seeing another mother lose her son in such a horrific way and how we as a community came together to support the family, particularly his mother. 

“As Aboriginal people we know these hard times – they’re not new to us. There’s a particular line in the song….

It’s not how this story goes
We know it’s not how this story goes 
It’s just us, no justice
Trust in us, no justice 
It’s just us, no justice 
Trust in us 

 “We know the truth, we know the real story that’s why we stick together, that’s why we have these marches and these community support events. We can only rely on our community and trust in our own justice. We took to the streets nationally – that’s the commitment we always have for each other.

“This song is my contribution to that time”.

Emma has been touring consistently since the start of the year when she hit the road nationally with legendary US country star Charley Crockett. Currently amid a vast regional tour, today she has announced key album tour dates, taking place from June:


Tickets at or

Sat 1 June – Blak Day Out, Brisbane – tickets HERE 

Thu 6 June – The Night Cat, Melbourne – tickets HERE

Sat 15 June – VIVID @ Carriageworks, Sydney – tickets HERE

Thu 20 June – Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide – tickets HERE

Sat 27 July – Mojo’s, Fremantle – tickets HERE

Thu 1 Aug – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave – tickets HERE

Sat 3 August- Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan – tickets HERE

Sun 4 Aug – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – tickets HERE

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