For her next project, Vanessa Amorosi will unleash some Hall of Fame vibes.
The Australian artist’s new full-length studio album Memphis Love is slated for release Nov. 17, her first through Bay Street Records, Dave Stewart’s independent music label.
With Memphis Love, the powerhouse singer goes eight albums deep into a recording career that exploded out the gates in the late 1990s with “Absolutely Everybody.” Amorosi was just a teen at the time. The world opened up all at once, as the song crashed the U.K. top 10, and she was invited to perform on the biggest stages of them all, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Amorosi has called Los Angeles home for the past 13 years. Now she calls Bay Street Records her label home, joining such artists as Joss Stone.
During her time Stateside, she has immersed herself in gospel music, soul, funk and blues, sounds that influence this forthcoming collection. “It’s very, very different to what people are used to hearing me do in Australia,” she tells Billboard. “I’m really excited for this chapter to begin.”
Memphis Love is co-produced with Stewart, was recorded at Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios in Memphis, TN, and features the gorgeous tones of Tennessee Mass Choir.
Lead single “Wolf,” which Amorosi co-wrote with Stewart one afternoon in downtown L.A., is a confident, blues number. It rolls with the punches and gives out a few of its own. At the top, Amorosi flexes with a howl, the kind of swagger that comes with having been there, done it. That animal instinct “kind of lightened the mood in the studio,” she recounts.
Stewart is a good guy to have your corner. As one half of the Eurythmics, the legendary British synth pop act elevated last year into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, Stewart is a creative force. He’s a real-deal multi-hyphenate, whose resume includes production across TV, stage, feature films, operating venues, and a thirst for technology. The Brit also owns Dave Stewart Entertainment (DSE), a full-service production and management company, involved in music, commercials, film, music videos, documentaries, independent productions and more.
“He is fearless,” she explains. “He understands technology. He’s always looking for ways for artists to be able to generate income to make more art. And he’s always very proactive on trying to keep an artist making art. I learned so much from him, and he’s just the most incredible human being.”
Stewart feels the same way. “I’ve stood on stage next to Vanessa Amorosi on several occasions and I’m always immediately taken aback by the intensity and the power of her vocal delivery,” he says in a statement announcing the new LP. “In getting to know her as a friend and as a true artist, I’ve found that her vocal capabilities are just the tip of the iceberg.”
Memphis Love is the followup to Amorosi’s City Of Angels, which debuted at No. 7 on the ARIA Albums Chart in March 2022, for her fourth career top 10 appearance. Prior to that, her last top tier appearance on the national survey was with 2009’s Hazardous, also peaking at No. 7.
European dates are on the slate, and Amorosi is looking forward to a homecoming jaunt that includes the Grapevine Gathering festival tour, and a performance at the 2023 AWMA in Brisbane, on Sept. 27. Expect her to share some of that Memphis Love.
“It has all the soul and the feel and the groove,” she enthuses. “I’m really, really proud of this record. And I feel like it’s gonna make people feel good.”
Memphis Love tracklist
Lift Us Up
Don’t Judge Me
Only So Much
Too Much of a Heartache
What Do I Get