Kate Ceberano – Sweet Inspiration

10 February 21
Sweet Inspiration is the fastest album Kate Ceberano has made.
And the Australian musician admits she thought the album, remarkably the 28th of her career, might be her last.
Ceberano recorded Sweet Inspiration in just two days last year, shoehorning it in between Melbourne lockdowns. “There was an air of uncertainty in the studio,” Ceberano tells SMARTdaily.
“I was thinking ‘Could this be the last one? This could be the last opportunity we get to record something like this for the longest time’.
“It had so much weight to it. It felt like we were wading through honey. Everything seemed so much harder to do – from simply getting into a studio to record in, to how many people could stand in the booth. The whole thing feels like it was shot in black and white in my head.”
Sweet Inspiration sees Ceberano mix mainstream classics I Will Always Love You, I Honestly Love You, You Needed Me and The Long and Winding Road with songs by Paul Weller, Elbow and Leonard Cohen, and her two originals written midpandemic – Hold On and Sweet Inspiration.
“It’s a very, very diverse but loving selection of songs I personally listen to, plus also the bucket list from the record label,” Ceberano says.
“They wanted to put me back in there as a bit of a diva. To me and my taste, I was curating an album – showing that a great romance doesn’t exist in a generation of time, it exists within us all. Each of us has a different way of expressing it. On the album there’s some of the greatest songwriters of all time showing us how deep they love, love life, love each other, love themselves.
“None of us were obviously expecting to COVID to hit, and they let me put two of my originals on it, because it seemed so incredibly weird to be making that kind of record in that time and not reference it somehow.”
Ceberano says the swift recording deadline added to the intensity. “I was singing 10-hour days two days in a row to get it all done. They’re all live versions, oldschool style. By the time we got to
(Leonard Cohen’s) If It Be Your Will I had spent all the fuel in the tanks, I didn’t care any more if it was going to be beautiful or ugly, but it was going to be honest.”
Late last year Ceberano and husband Lee Rogers relocated to Sydney due to a lack of any live gigs in Melbourne.
The move is now stretching to the rest of 2021, with their daughter Gypsy settled in Sydney.
“My daughter’s happy in school here, Lee is very happy to be back in Sydney, he’s a Sydney boy, his mum is here, he’s enjoying being close to her. Anyone with parents who are slightly older, we’re all much more aware than we’ve ever been of our older generation. I’ll just try to get to Melbourne for long weekends if I have gigs down there, I do miss Melbourne but it’s been great having a change of scenery.”
Ceberano has also loved having regular work again, circling around the regional New South Wales gig circuit for the first time in years, as well as shows from Tasmania to Bribie Island.
“People are loving going to gigs again,” Ceberano says. “When we do these intimate gigs people really enjoy the chatting between the songs, it’s as though they haven’t had anyone in their loungeroom talking to them for months, it’s all been Netflix.
“I’m treating it like it’s 1980. It’s the deconstruction of our universe as we know it. We’re living this really basic life, things aren’t as fast as they used to be but we still get there. People are so grateful to be at a gig, at the COVID-safe shows you can only sell so many tickets, it’s first in best dressed, they want the entertainment experience they missed last year. They want to be entertained and I am happy to oblige! It’s almost Kate by request at some shows, I don’t mind that!
“It’s just a great relief to be working to be honest. I’m thrilled.” Sweet Inspiration out today.