Monday, 20 August 2012

New Music Monday #20

The Moment
by Mia Dyson (2012)

Returning with her fourth LP is Australia's leading lady of the blues, Mia Dyson. It feels like the ARIA Award winning vocal wonder has been away for so long, as she's been touring and living in America since 2009, recording The Moment in California at the end of 2011. Her comeback is more than welcome as she not only delivers the greatest work of her career, but one of the best albums I've had the pleasure of hearing in 2012. Dyson is a lover, a fighter and she captures that classic Springsteen-Americana sound (with a distinct Mia Dyson twist) in all of it's brilliant glory, offering up personal accounts of heartbreak, perseverance and the open road. 

Each track plants you firmly in her corner, the power and emotion in her voice melting away any resistance you could possibly put up. Don't bother fighting it, just listen and enjoy the journey with Mia Dyson. Now, about that voice? Phenomenal, right? Right. Bouncing from rock to country to pop, but always rich with soul and infused with a healthy dose of the blues, we can all agree that this is one of the greatest voices in music today. Listen to 'Dancing' and try to disagree. "You were dancing on the edge of the world, of the world, you were dancing." Feeling a little short of breath? I'm right there with you. 

Opening with the one-two punch of 'When The Moment Comes' and 'Pistol' was smart. 'When The Moment Comes' is that jump up and down, sing-a-long, pump your fist in the air kind of anthem you'll find yourself playing over and over and over again. It's a relatively light-hearted affair when compared to what follows. "Use this pistol on my heart, take me out before it starts." Yeah, you're in for the best emotional roller-coaster of your life, starting with 'Pistol.' Every track stand on its own as an impressive piece of songwriting, performed masterfully by Dyson and her band. 'Tell Me' is guitar-driven blues at its finest, 'The Outskirts of Town' is the same... sans guitar prominence, replaced by the piano. 

Saving the best for last, 'Two Roads' brings to a close a most satisfying collection of ups and downs; of honest moments between performer and listener. Albums that end with a stellar, memorable ballad are the best and 'Two Roads' is definitely stellar. And it is memorable. You could say that about every song on The Moment. Do yourselves a favour... go get this album.

Matt Bond gives The Moment five Nick Cave's out of five...      
Feather (2011)
by Nick and Liesl

"I can see by the look in your eyes, you've been out here for a while, and I guess, I guess it must be true, I've been looking, looking for you too." Nick Everitt and Liesl Karlsson's debut album combines classy acoustic-folk music with exceptional songwriting and two hopelessly romantic and endearing new voices. Amongst the sweet, tender moments between our two leads are messages about growing up, chasing your dreams and learning from your mistakes.  

Feather opens with 'Most Of My Life;' a perfect introduction to the music of Nick and Liesl. It's a breezy number, seemingly over way too soon despite its run-time (4:11), that prominently features Nick's voice and also showcases the brilliance of Nick and Liesl's vocal harmonies. You'll continually be impressed by the natural way their voices come together to create beautiful harmonies. As they come together to sing, "these days remind me of what makes me smile, jumping into the ocean releases my emotion," you'll find yourself instantly hooked. It's just one of many catchy lines (both lyrically and melodically) that will linger in your head long after the song has finished. The roles are reversed on 'Your Heart In My Hands' as Liesl takes the lead and Nick comfortably slides into the back-up role. 

"You're mine (do you love me today, will you me tomorrow), you're mine (do you love me today, there must be some kind of way)." As their voices circle each other in those lines, it's easy to understand why Nick and Liesl's title track 'Feather' is widely recognised as one of the album's highlights. A simple piano melody precedes Liesl's introduction, her soulful voice commanding all attention in what becomes a surprisingly heartbreaking track. "I won't be afraid, I know it's real enough, I never ask for too much, I know that there's no such thing as true love." Any down mood is instantly perked up (in a sign of well planned track placement) by 'Silent Ships.' "Like silent ships go sailing out to sea, I'm at peace knowing you're in love with me." What a lovely song about love that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

There are three other tracks that I want to give special mention to. 'Leave This Town' is so very likely to charm those of you chasing a good laid-back tune to kick back and relax to. Think those summer nights out on the deck, having a couple of drinks with friends. That's when you want to hear 'Leave This Town.' Think those lazy Sundays in the park (most likely also having a couple of drinks with friends). That's when you want to hear 'Leave This Town.' Along with 'Silent Ships,' I'd call 'Leave This Town' my favourite Nick Everitt penned track. 'Witch's Brew' would be one of my two favourite Liesl Karlsson written numbers. Atmospherically 'Witch's Brew' creates a much darker tone than the tracks surrounding it, making it stand out that much more. What's the other Karlsson track I love the most? The album's closing song, 'Does It Matter.' Album's that end with a stellar, memorable ballad are the best. "To who does it matter if I should choose to yield, to yield to the doubts that plague my every single thought, to yield to the conflicts of my mind, to yield to the expectations I have of myself, to yield, to give up... it matters to me." An incredible end that will have you heading straight back to the start of Feather so you can enjoy it all over again. 

I can't recommend Feather highly enough. Nick and Liesl have definitely earned...

Matt Bond gives Feather five Nick Cave's out of five...

It's been forever since we've thrown one out there and then BAM! Two fives in one week?! Best week for music ever! 


by Ricki-Lee

See Ricki, if the lyrics are, “I wanna see you getting crazy,” then why aren’t you doing that? Why isn’t there some hard beats and some strange vocals and some incredible synthesisers or incredible anything and why does this song sound like every other average pop/dance song and why does the clip consist of an incredibly dull looking hospital set and incredibly bad costumes? Why is there a predictable bunch of your clones wandering around? It’s not interesting and it doesn’t suggest a storyline to the clip, it just looks cheap. You couldn’t afford any one else to appear? You could have taken a leaf out of Reece Mastin’s school of clips and given one of those Home And Away girls a cameo? Even that would have been more interesting. The writhing around tied to the floor? Hasn’t someone let you know that’s not sexy? It’s not interesting, it’s not original, it’s not cool, it’s not attractive and it’s not sexy, at all. It’s just weird and a little snooze-worthy. I guess it suits the song. Please Ricki, I’m not giving up on you, I just know you can do better, I know somewhere in there is a talented, interesting girl waiting to appear. I’m sure she’s fabulous; let her appear for your next single?! 

Jo Michelmore gives the 'Crazy' video one Nikki Webster out of five... 


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