LIFE has dealt Felicity Urquhart extreme highs and lows over the course of the past two years.
In May 2019, two months after releasing her first solo album in a decade, Frozen Rabbit, Urquhart tragically lost her husband of 10 years, Glen Hannah, when he took his own life.
The album, which Hannah produced, went on to win six Golden Guitar awards at the 2020 Country Music Awards of Australia, including album of the year and female artist of the year.
It was bittersweet without Hannah by her side, but as she has learned since his death, positivity and finding happiness is key to moving forward.
Urquhart set her sights on touring the album with a run of headline shows and festivals locked in before it all came to a sudden halt when the pandemic forced the country into lockdown.
"It was a real shame I didn't get to really use that momentum straight after the festival, but it is what it is and I am going to pick up where I can and keep playing those tunes," Urquhart says.
Urquhart has three shows coming up in the region and new music on the horizon.
The first show brings her to Lizotte's on March 10 with singer-songwriter Brad Butcher (who won alt-country album of the year for Travelling Salesman at the 2020 Golden Guitars) and she returns with long-time collaborator Lyn Bowtell at Rathmines Theatre on March 25 before heading back to Lizotte's on May 6 to showcase a new project with The Waifs' guitarist Josh Cunningham.
The pair recently completed work on an album together.
Urquhart's burst of creativity comes after she resigned as host of Saturday Night Country on ABC Radio in December.
"I had about 11 years in the role and decided that I needed more space to be creative," Urquhart says.
"The juggle since losing Glen was becoming a lot, so it really made me think 'How do I move forward?'. I needed some more creativity.
"I really love music, that's what got me into this whole thing, from radio to television. I had to work out where the next chapter was headed and I thought 'I've got to make this call' and it just felt right.
"I haven't looked back. I'm being creative and I'm totally running with it."
She plans to return to the studio later in the year to record another solo album and is preparing to launch her new project with Cunningham.
The pair regularly crossed paths over the years and began making music together last year which eventually took shape in the form of an album which will be released through ABC Music in April.
Finding a connection with music also sparked something bigger between Urquhart and Cunningham.
The pair are now in a relationship.
"We were jamming and then we thought we should write some songs together," Urquhart says.
"We realised there was a spark there and it flowed so naturally that I would say it all bloomed simultaneously. There was no doubt about it. It was just so lovely."
They recorded the album at Urquhart's home studio on the Central Coast, playing all of the instruments and handling production duties themselves to create a collection of songs that combine their shared love of folk, blues and country.
"We did it all. We had no one else in with us. Well, actually, we had the occasional lunch made by my nine-year-old. She would come in and say 'I've made you lunch, mummy and Joshy," Urquhart says.
"It was so lovely and my girls absolutely adore Josh. As you can understand, it's very important that the children come first and foremost, that their happiness is looked after, and they fell in love with Josh, too."
Finding love again after losing Hannah has provided great comfort and happiness for both Urquhart and Cunningham.
"I think we both pinched ourselves like 'Is this real? Could we really be this lucky?'. Because at the end of the day we are both adults in our 40s," she says.
"Josh has had his own journey as well, highs and lows, so to come to a place where you feel like you've met someone that is on the same page, you think 'OK, is this really happening?'
"We are both pleasantly surprised and both so very happy."