BREAKING up is hard to do, but that's exactly what Kim Churchill had to do with his own music.
Earlier this year, the folk rocker made the radical decision to scrap an entire album and start over from scratch.
"I'd been working on the album for 18 or 19 months,” he said.
"It was finished in every way, but we just knew there was something not quite right about it.
"No one wanted to say it - least of all me.
"I'd been working ridiculously hard to try to get it to the point where I thought it was right, trying to fix the foundations of the building in the upper levels, so to speak. It was never going to work.”
Kim plays Mackay's Timberfest on September 23.
During a meeting at his manager's Sydney office, Kim had an epiphany.
"My label said, 'Let's have some new mixes done' and I looked at the amount of money and said, 'Guys, I can record a whole new album for that'.
"It hit me in that moment that's what I needed to do: put that other music away.
"I was so confused and perplexed about what it had become and what it was.
"I'd been lying to myself for so long about that other material. I was hit with this incredibly concentrated injection of honesty about who I really was and what I really wanted to be and what my vision actually was.”
Churchill wasn't exaggerating about being able to write a new album in just seven days.
He penned a second version of the album in one frenetic week, and then spent two months piecing together the new recordings with ARIA-winning producer Ian Pritchett in a garage in Western Sydney.
"Sometimes you have to show up to work 300 times and get absolutely nothing done,” he said.
"Those processes can be really difficult and challenging. I had to go through all that other junk to get back to that wonderful state of creativity.
"I enjoyed that week so much. It was beautifully simple and easy.”
The result is Weight Falls, which was released last Friday. Three of the 13 songs - Breakneck Speed, Cygo and Rosemary - were rescued from the scrapped album.
"I wrote Rosemary about a guy called George who fell in love with my grandmother during the last two weeks of his and her life in hospital,” Churchill said.
"I was so lucky to have seen that all happen and be in a position to write a song about it. That was always coming across.”
Churchill did much of the production on Weight Falls - a first for the Canberra native.
"I downloaded Garage Band, which has floor tom samples I could play on my iPad,” he said. "It was very simple, caveman drumming which is my only option when it comes to playing drums (laughs).
"I loved the layered drums and I built up a lot of layers and beats that followed on from some of that stuff on the previous album.”
To translate his complex tracks for his upcoming 19-date tour, Churchill is breaking away from his usual one-man band arrangement.
"There will be two drummers on each side of me who will replicate those beats,” he said.
"They play synchronised parts and we sing three-part harmonies. It's this whole wonderful new live show, which is incredibly exciting. It's a hell of a lot of fun to do on stage.”
He will only tweak his show slightly for his headlining set at Timberfest.
"I'll trim the edges a little bit, nip and tuck a few things, but I will give a more or less full-fledged version of the new show there,” he says.
"I'm very excited to play Timberfest and be the headliner. It hasn't happened many times that I've headlined a festival; what a way to come back (to Mackay) and play.”
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