After much conjecture, former Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan looks set to return to the music charts with her new single, Lonely.
Let’s be honest, critics haven’t been fair to Casey Donovan, both in and out of the music industry since the then-16-year-old took out the title of Australian Idol in 2004. Some lamented that runner-up Anthony Callea was more talented, while others worried that she was simply too young to fulfill the responsibilities that came with winning such a competition. And for the most part, they were validated. While Donovan did have some commercial success with her debut album For You and follow-up EP, Eye 2 Eye, she always seemed to shy away from the spotlight.
Recent years have seen the now 29-year-old return to the forefront of the entertainment industry, with appearances in musicals such as Flowerchildren: The Mamas & Papas Story, The Sapphires (stage version) and We Will Rock You. Speculation of a pop music comeback has been rife, particularly with the artist’s appearance in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! and the even more questionable revamp of a certain supermarket chain ad.
But through all the bullying and rumours, what we seem to forget is that Casey Donovan is an impressive – if somewhat underrated – musician. And Lonely is proof of that.
From the outset, Donovan’s voice is sweet and hypnotising as she reminds us of the reason why she won Australian Idol in the first place. The song itself takes a while to build, culminating in a gorgeous crescendo of cello, guitar and vocals that gives the song a somewhat orchestral, deeper feeling than most songs one would hear from the usual pop musicians.
Subject-wise, Lonely is not all that unique – taking on the story of a woman who fears she is destined to spend her life alone – but it is Donovan’s beautiful lyrics (Standing at your door, I’m shaking/We’ve been here before/There’s no point in trying anymore/Can’t keep on begging you to love me) combined with the delivery of the song itself that makes it stand out. As a complete package, it’s haunting, heartbreaking and tender all at once.
Given that it’s been so long since Donovan released any new music, this may be the clearest indication yet that she is ready to embark on a new chapter of her musical career. If that’s the case, we all best be ready because clearly, she has a lot of fight left in her.