FOR West Albury-born-and-bred singer-songwriter, Renn Picard, it took a while to find his voice.
The former Albury Public and Albury High student said he wasn't a natural singer.
"I was hesitant about singing for a long time," he said.
"I refused to sing in the Year 6 musical!
"Then in high school, I started songwriting and I was looking for singers to work with me on my songs when my Dad told me I was better off just singing for myself."
Better known as a member of Albury-founded, now Melbourne-based band, The Northern Folk, Picard released his first single, Parallel Lines, this week.
Together with his brother Khayl, Renn has toured with the band and performed at Woodford Folk Festival, National Folk Festival and St Kilda Festival.
Having got his first guitar aged 10 and a saxophone two years later ("I broke my right thumb and I needed to play an instrument that didn't rely on it so much"), Renn trained at the Murray Conservatorium in Albury.
"In The Northern Folk I play tenor sax, sing some harmonies and play a little guitar when they let me," Renn said.
"I had an egg shaker but I wasn't allowed to keep it!
"My contributions mostly involve writing some horn lines here and there, some arrangement and a lot of opinions."
After contributing to a slew of releases with The Northern Folk, Melbourne rock group The Hot Springs and other artists, Picard said he was now exploring his own solo venture.
Self-recorded and produced, Parallel Lines showcases Renn's honest lyrics, stirring harmony and impactful production.
"It's a reflection on people having different perspectives because we all come from different backgrounds," he said.
"Lots of things I write are a comment on challenging societal issues."
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Renn's rural Australian folk roots can be heard in his music entwined with the influences of artists such as Didirri, Bear's Den, Joni Mitchell, Angie McMahon and Bon Iver.
Parallel Lines is the first of several singles planned for release during the next 12 months with an EP due out mid-2020.
"I hope to have six or eight songs for an EP in the second half of next year," Renn said.
Parallel Lines is now available on all major music platforms.
The Northern Folk are next on the Border for By The Banks Music Festival at Willowbank on Saturday, November 30.
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