It’s an intriguing premise – gather a group of some of the finest singers, songwriters and players on the Melbourne alt-country scene and record them singing each other’s songs backed by a studio house band.
That approach ensures continuity of style and feel from a musical perspective but there are still plenty of pleasant surprises as each artist puts his or her own stamp on their chosen song. Highlights include Joshua Seymour bringing a weathered woolliness to James Kenyon’s ‘Silverwater/Long Bay’, Luke Sinclair taking Suzannah Espie’s ‘Sea Of Lights’ to an entirely different place, Dan Waters’ initially bewildering vocal style that evolves beautifully on his rendition of a Raised By Eagles’ song and Chris Pickering treating Tobia Hengeveld’s ‘Old Guitars’ with a languid, shimmering and soulful feel.
Collectively the songs do make for a fairly one dimensional album in the sense of sonic similarities and the mostly mellow atmosphere. That aside, it’s a exceptionally recorded and performed collection of songs and a loving postcard from the local Melbourne Americana scene.