Queensland singer-songwriter grew up near Dalby on the Darling Downs but her debut EP is not a collection of stories about wide open skies and lowing cattle, although one of the tracks, ‘The Unfamiliar’, is about her love of travel and rural life. Instead, Guitars & Cigars is a declaration of Cosgrove as an artist. Cosgrove attended the CMAA Academy of Country Music in 2016 and she has already had broad experience with live shows and co-writers (although all five tracks on the EP were penned solo), which suggests that she takes opportunities that come to her and continues to learn, consolidating what she already knows all the while.
That attitude to her work is, no doubt, why this EP is such a professional debut. It is so well formed that it suggests Cosgrove has a catalogue of unrecorded songs that served the purpose of getting her to the point where she could produce five winners. Each song on this EP is both entertaining and meaningful, delivered by a voice unlike any other in Australian country music. Cosgrove’s voice sounds stylised and confident without being affected. It’s the voice of an artist who knows who she is and what she wants to convey, and it’s immediately intriguing.
The EP opens with ‘Nobody’s Getting Out Alive’, an ode to the power of seizing the moment which also sounds reflective: this is not the battle cry of someone who wants to win at all costs but, rather, an artist who acknowledges that taking a chance also means risking a consequence. The second track, ‘Rebel Girl’, is Cosgrove’s self-portrait, done with a wink and a nod. All five songs on the EP are personal in inspiration but there’s a distinct lack of the squirmy self-consciousness which can be a trap for a young artist.
Cosgrove has already achieved a lot but there is no doubt more ahead. She’s not so much paying dues as laying track for the road ahead, which looks like it will be a gleaming, straight highway rather than a long and winding road.
Guitars & Cigars is available now. Find it on iTunes.