JACK Carty laughs when I suggest he’s breaking the mould with his music as he comes across as a sensitive Australian.

“There are a few of us but we are in the minority,” he quips. “That’s why I have to come over here.”

Fresh from the release of his fifth album Hospital Hill, Jack will be in Manchester on Thursday as part of a co-headline tour with singer Maz O’Connor.

Hospital Hill, which Jack wrote with cellist Gus Gardiner, is a delightful blend of thoughtful and thought-provoking songs with Gus’s cello adding an extra dimension to the mix.

“On previous albums Gus has written string parts on to the songs but this was very much us working together,” said Jack. “I focused more on the guitar lines and lyrics and he on the strings, but we tried to weave the thing together so that it exists as a whole. It’s the first time we have worked like that and we both found it an exciting and interesting process.”

Jack revealed that the recording process was also something different.

“We recorded it live in the studio over two days,” he said. “There’s not a single overdub on the album. What you hear is what we played in the room.”

Hospital Hill is very different from Jack’s previous album Home State.

“With that album I recorded it pretty much at home which meant I really had as much time as I liked,” he said. “With Hospital Hill I wanted to do the exact opposite and capture the spontaneity of live performance

For the live shows Gus will be flying over to accompany Jack.

“In Australia we will tour as a quartet but that’s not really possible over here,” he said. “But Gus has adapted the string arrangements on the songs so we can play them in this duo set up.”

There is a hugely personal element to the songs on Hospital Hill - the title track comes from a well known local landmark in the small town Jack grew up in on Australia’s East Coast.

“For me, lyrics have always been a big thing,” he said. “The whole thing matters but if you have the most beautiful melody but the lyric’s not there I couldn’t connect with it.

“That has changed slightly over the years as I have got older but I still spend a lot of time and effort on my lyrics and it’s important that they mean something. Otherwise I’d question the point of doing it.”

Jack is very much an Anglophile and last year moved to Gloucestershire.

“Growing up in a small rural town I’m sure some of my experiences were unique,” he said. “but with all the travelling I’ve done over the years I’ve come to realise that we are all essentially dealing with the same issues.

“Music is very powerful in the way you can rock up to a town and make a whole new set of friends in one night because you have a shared interest.

“It draws like-minded people together, it’s a pretty powerful thing.

“That’s what drew me to music in the first place - the community it builds.

“Since my first show in the UK I’ve been blown away how people respond over here.

“There is a thoughtfulness to people I meet here which lends itself to lyrical, narrative music and more personal music.

“After a gig people will have very insightful thing that has struck them. Songs mean specific things to me but it’s interesting to see how they evolve out in the world and what other people take from them.”

Jack Carthy and Maz O’Connor, Gullivers, Manchester, Thursday, June 14. Details from www.jackcarty.com