He took his sweet time with it, but late last year Sydney songwriter Michael P Cullen released his second solo LP,True Believer– a whopping 13 years after his first solo album,Love Transmitter.

A lot of things changed in Cullen’s life along the way, but the two releases possess a range of shared qualities. For instance, both albums were recorded and produced by Tim Powles, drummer and occasional vocalist for The Church. The songs still revolve around Cullen’s baritone vocals and dark, figurative lyricism, and his songwriting still gives a nod to such iconic performers as Nick Cave, Rowland S. Howard, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, The Go-Betweens and The Smiths.

Despite being deeply fascinated with several of the aforementioned artists since a young age, Cullen’s creative motivation has a more primal origin. “I think that urge comes from the need to say something, it comes from within,” he says. “But when it comes, the influences you have absorbed over the years have some bearing on how you express yourself.