Aussie music legend Paul Kelly has returned with his first piece of new music in over a year, sharing the powerful new single “Every Step of The Way” today.
An acoustic-led ballad that features all the hallmarks of a classic Kelly track, the emotive “Every Step of The Way” was penned a year ago after seeing AFL footballer Eddie Betts discuss the racism he’s experienced both on and off the field during an appearance on national TV.
“Eddie Betts has brought joy to me and so many others with the amazing feats he’s performed on the field for 17 years,” Kelly explained. “But he’s shown even more class and courage off the field in talking about the deep hurt of everyday racism. Eddie keeps educating.”
“I’m so sick and tired of keeping it inside, I’m so sick and tired today,” Kelly sings on the track. “I remember the old ones’ hard travelling, they’re with me every step of the way.”
Deeply moving and cathartic, the track was released with the support of Betts himself, with the single highlighting the ongoing issues of racism that are prevalent within Australian society.
“I was so honoured when Paul reached out to me with a song that he had written from his heart,” Betts explained. “He has always empowered us mob with his music and his authentic and heartfelt collaborations have always been enjoyed by myself and all my family for many years.
“I feel proud to have this song written for me by someone so respected here in Australia and someone who has always stood in solidarity with us mob – this song means a lot to me.”
“Every Step of The Way” is Kelly’s first piece of original music since his 2020 collaborative record with Paul Grabowsky, Please Leave Your Light On. Earlier this year, Ziggy Ramo featured Kelly’s vocals in his reworking of the 1991 protest anthem, “From Little Things Big Things Grow”.
Paul Kelly’s “Every Step of The Way” is out now.