Being Australian 2: the search for a lost utopia

Nostalgia. There’s a lot of it going around.

Bemused by change, some Australians quietly lament, while some get plain nasty — looking for someone to blame for the loss of Eden/Utopia. Many, like Graeme Connors, are rather gently bemused. His lost Utopia is a rather Queensland, rather left-wing one; he cites the workers of the bush and the foundations of the Labor movement in the 1890s.

Songs are special. In a matter of minutes they can sum up your life, make you feel completely at home, or spark a wonderful memory. Graeme Connors is someone who writes those kind of songs. As one of Australia’s most loved songwriters, he creates cinematic-style stories with music that we can hold on to; that somehow make sense of our lives even when we can’t. On the musical landscape, he represents an artistic integrity with an ear to our collective pulse.

Dubbed a country and coastal artist, Graeme’s songs move effortlessly across genres ranging from folk, pop and contemporary to country, all the while using his personal style to serve the songs. Particularly embraced and awarded by the country music community – fans and musicians alike – Graeme never set out to make country music specifically, but his honest stories captured the imagination of the ‘heartland’ music lovers as comfortably as the general audience. Unlike a lot of pop songs, Graeme’s songs go somewhere and tell a story, always ending with a life lesson, conclusion or resolution.

Sometimes, like Citizen Kane, it is the simpler, more innocent world of the child we miss so much.