Hell Breaks Loose is Shane’s first album of original material since the breakdown of his marriage to Kasey Chambers, with whom he recorded two ARIA Award-winning alt-country albums, Rattlin’ Bones (2008) and Wreck & Ruin (2012).
Several songs address his new circumstances directly, including the superb ballad Single Fathers and the starting-over honesty of Secondhand Man.
Others range across topics from the decline of a once-great city (Irons and Chains, about Detroit), living with depression (Weight of the World), to learning to choose which battles are worth the fight (Bury My Guns).
“Many of these songs are about self-discovery and new horizons’’ Nicholson says. “And also how that’s not always great, it can also sometimes be difficult. You can veer down a few wrong paths. It can take time to adjust. Writers will always find turmoil to write about even if there isn’t any, but the writing for this record certainly came from an authentic place, and was very cathartic.’’
Hell Breaks Loose recently won an ARIA award for Best Country Album and a CMAA Golden Guitar Award for Best Alternative Country Album.
HELL BREAKS LOOSE – REVIEWS:
Nicholson’s is a uniquely compelling voice in Australian songwriting – it lives and breathes in the songsmith’s singular melodies, crooked humour, and short, pithy lines gently delivered. Hell Breaks Loose is a candid, immersive portrait of the artist.
Rolling Stone Australia – Best 50 Albums of 2015
Gorgeous, life-affirming…his best collection yet…one of the country’s finest songwriters.