With five albums already under his belt, you might assume that Carus Thompson was running out of things to say. However, listening to his new album Island quickly dispels that myth.

Perhaps it’s because Carus hasn’t released an album in five years. Think about your own life and how much you’ve learned in that period of time, and you’ll soon understand why Carus has so many stories to tell. He’s also spent his hiatus working with groups like Headspace, Canteen, and the Australian Children’s Music Foundation. I can hear the way some of the people he encountered during that time has informed his work. Carus has also returned home to Fremantle, to a quieter life with his two children. That sort of move is bound to be good for the soul.

Considering all of those factors, it’s not really surprising that Carus has so much to say with this release. It tackles some deep topics here. He sings so eloquently about the ice epidemic in the single “Bush Fires.” He humanises the plight of refugees on Manus Island in “Reza Barati.” There are themes of isolation and depression that run through.

“Lies” may be the happiest sounding song about betrayal that I’ve ever heard. I love the juxtaposition of this sing-along melody with the cutting lyrics. “Go There With You” is such an honest love song. There are no frills about it; Carus just bears the soul. The delicate “Gone But Not Forgotten” is such a poignant way to end this exceptional album.

Island is so easy to listen to. You could slip it on at your next BBQ and it would add a relaxed atmosphere. But it’s so much richer than just a cruisy acoustic folk album. Tapping into the lyrics you hear so much wisdom and heart. I know I’m going to go back to it at a time when I can just drop everything and really hone in on those words, because I know it’s going to hit me more with every listen.

Island by Carus Thompson is released today. Look out for his live show at the following venues.

12 February 2017 – The Grace Emily, Adelaide (Matinee)
17 February 2017 – Mojos, Fremantle
25 February 2017 – Piping Hot Chicken Shop, Ocean Grove
26 February 2017 – Grampians Festival, Halls Gap
3 March 2017 – Republic Bar, Hobart
4 March 2017 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
5 March 2017 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
10 March 2017 – The Quarry Ampitheatre, City Beach