Paul Kelly explores “contrasting landscapes” on new single ‘Northern Rivers’

It comes as part of his second compilation album for the year, ‘Rivers And Rain’

Paul Kelly has released his second compilation album for the year – an anthology of songs that explore themes related to water, aptly titled ‘Rivers And Rain’ – commemorating its launch with a new single titled ‘Northern Rivers’.

In a press release, Kelly described ‘Northern Rivers’ as “a love song set in contrasting landscapes”, with its lyrics telling the story of a mysterious girl raised in the titular NSW region. In his statement, Kelly noted that the song came together rather quickly: “I took it to the band and it came out really easily like they’d been playing it forever.”

Have a listen to ‘Northern Rivers’ below:


‘Rivers And Rain’ was released today (July 29) via Universal, and features a total of 21 songs. Among those are the 1994 single ‘Love Never Runs On Time’, the title track to Kelly’s 2017 album ‘Life Is Fine’, a live rendition of the song ‘Moon River’ (performed with Neil Finn), and collaborations with Vika and Linda Bull, Uncle Bill, Charlie Owen and The Messengers.

Expounding on his concept for the album, Kelly said: “Water appears very often in my songs. I live on Port Philip Bay and when I’m home I go down to the sea several times a week if I can. When I’m traveling and visiting new cities, I always look for the water, be it a river, a lake, a canal, the sea or a swimming pool.

“If I were to make a compilation of all my ‘water’ songs the track list would be overflowing! So, for the second instalment in this series, I’ve decided to narrow the channel to Rivers and Rain. Songs to do with oceans and shores I’ll save for another time.

“Rivers run through cities, run through wildernesses, and run through history. You can dream by a river. Court and picnic by a river. Swim or fish in a river. Sail or row or float down a river. Drown in a river.

“In Australia, some rivers are dry or low for long periods then roar to life, sometimes dangerously, after certain storms. Rivers need rain. We all do. One of the great pleasures in life is lying in bed listening to the rain. Or reading a book in a nook inside as rain falls outside. I even like playing footy in the rain!”


The new album follows up on ‘Time’, a compilation of songs about its namesake that Kelly released back in May. His most recent studio album was ‘Paul Kelly’s Christmas Train’, which arrived last November and featured a re-recorded version of the classic ‘How To Make Gravy’.

Also in May, it was announced that ‘How To Make Gravy’ would be adapted into a Christmas movie by Warner Bros. It’ll be produced by Speech & Drama Pictures – the production company of Washington and filmmaker Nick Waterman, who has worked with the likes of Jessica Mauboy, Amy Shark and Montaigne – however a start to its production is yet to be announced.