What A Way To Die
‘Absolute’, the opening track on Brandon Dodd’s debut solo album sets a high standard with its warmth and intimacy, a wonderful blend of country, folk and heart-on-sleeve soul. The subtlety and restraint in the guitar playing and Dodd’s voice introduce a solo artist who has treaded the boards at pubs and clubs across Australia as one half of Grizzlee Train and graced stages around the world as part of Kasey Chambers’ band for the last five years. Oh, and he’s still only 24 years old.
Elsewhere, ‘Aberdeen’ channels Dylan with it’s wordplay and delivery, ‘Whiskey Room Shuffle ‘throws off its jacket, hits a blues groove and kicks up dance-floor dust, ‘Lover’ employs a jazzy, soulful shuffle of the kind that Jeff Buckley would’ve been proud of, while the tougher grit and grind of ‘Water Turns To Rain’, featuring Newcastle singer Woodie McClean, is a fine example of Dodd detouring into dark and stripped back emotive rock.
What A Way To Die is a fine debut, one of those albums that introduces an artist who has clearly studied the dark art of songwriting, knows where his strengths lay but isn’t afraid to test his limits and stretch his artistic horizons.