The world abounds in symbols and ciphers; the Australian continent warms, its own unique portents, omens and code.

In the plumage of the black cockatoo, pictograms scrawled into the sand by the nails and scales of earthbound lizards, the glassy eye of the carrion crow glaring.

William Crighton identifies powerful analogues of lived experience. It’s a gift that finds its truest expression yet on his landmark second album, Empire.

It’s a world of peril and of sudden beauty, in which one man prepares for doomsday while another isolates profound truths in the song of an insect.

Against this backdrop, Empire’s shifting perspectives and contrasting viewpoints coalesce to form a richly detailed mandala of an experience.

The first single, ‘Happiness’ reveals this, charting blissed-out new vistas shivering with feeling.

Tour Dates 2018

March 29 - April 2
Byron Bay, NSW
May 5
Narara Music Festival
Kariong, NSW
July 13-28
EMPIRE Album Tour
August 11 - 12
Boomtown Fair
Winchester, UK
August 23 - 26
Tønder Festival

“It would not be unfair to say Crighton’s growing legion of followers come along for a near-religious experience…To say he’s capable of taking an audience to another level is not an understatement.” – Newcastle Herald

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“He skillfully powered through a powerful 5 song set that invoked all sorts of raw emotion & deep thought that left you knowing you heard & saw something special’ Indie Music Review” – Rockwood Music Hall NYC

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William Crighton announces his landmark second album, EMPIRE.

With Empire, Crighton delivers both ageless and untempered fire and inexhaustible forward momentum.

Produced by established producer and collaborator Matt Sherrod and recorded in a series of evocative settings, “Empire” expands Crighton’s powerful sound into sprawling new planes and finds the singer-songwriter bringing a cinematographer’s eye for detail to bear on his unique and immersive lyrical style.

Having been described as a visionary and a penetrative lyricist, Crighton doesn’t buy into that, humbly and sincerely laughing it off. Discussing the album and compositions of Empire, Crighton says the driving force was “just being here. My 9-year-old daughter says, ‘hope is the one thing that brings us together’, I agree with her and think it could go either way. There’s more and more people realizing what’s going on and changing things for the better but on the other hand there’s a lot of greed and crazy out there holding on tight. A few years ago I asked a goodmate, a Wiradjuri bloke, if he thought a “great awakening” was coming and he said ‘they’re white fella words, we’ve been living sustainably for 100’s of thousands of years’ – That put me in my place and inspired me beyond measure.”

In 2017, Crighton released 7-inch vinyl ‘Hope Recovery’, accompanied Dan Sultan and CW Stoneking on their respective national tours, and performed to thronging crowds at WOMADelaide and Woodford Folk Festival. He showcased at Canadian Music Week, New York City’s Mondo Music Conference and the Folk Alliance International in Kansas City.

Quickly building a reputation as a world-class live performer, Crighton recently completed his debut Canadian tour, alongside JUNO nominated Terra Lightfoot.

Empire sees William Crighton expand his study of the human psyche, hard close-ups meet a roving widescreen lens. It is a songbook of breathtaking insight. The flame of the human spirit is, in Crighton’s hands, shown to be the most powerful force at work in 21st Century Australia: one that produces both soot and shadow, but also guiding light, illuminating both the painful past and the difficult path forward along which hope will always chime.

William Crighton will unveil a selection of new songs from EMPIRE together with songs from his stellar self titled debut at Byron Bay Bluesfest over the Easter long weekend, March/April 2018.


Empire is available from May 4th on ABC Music/Universal



Fire In The Empire

Let Love Come First

Devil’s Tongue


Mr Brown



Morning Song




The Band Played Waltzing Matilda


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