ALBUM REVIEW: The Aviary Presents: Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Country / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: The Aviary Presents: Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings

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 … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Kasey Chambers – Dragonfly (plus giveaway!)
Album Reviews / Americana / Bluegrass / Blues / Country / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Kasey Chambers – Dragonfly (plus giveaway!)

Double albums certainly aren’t in vogue these days but Kasey Chambers, Australia’s queen of Americana music, isn’t one to shortchange her muse. Dragonfly covers two recording sessions, the first helmed by Paul Kelly and the second by brother Nash Chambers. The first disc covers a range of styles, from the throwaway ‘Talkin’ Baby Blues’ to … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Freya Josephine Hollick – The Unceremonious Junking Of Me
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Bluegrass / Blues / Folk / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Freya Josephine Hollick – The Unceremonious Junking Of Me

Born of a fractured and unsalvageable relationship, yet blessed by the birth of a child, Freya Josephine Hollick’s second album is a deep emotional record that sounds at times desperate and fragile, yet often also defiant and optimistic. The album dials into a sound of pure, unadorned folk and lonesome country music. With just three … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Big Smoke – Time Is Golden
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Soul / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Big Smoke – Time Is Golden

Time Is Golden is an often melancholic yet sometimes euphoric album, tragically shadowed by singer/songwriter Adrian Slattery’s diagnosis of terminal cancer and subsequent passing in May 2016, only weeks after he recorded his final guitar track for the record. Widescreen Americana is the best description of this set of songs that take in Wilco, The … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Okkervil River – Away
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Indie Folk / Rock / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Okkervil River – Away

Fans of Okkervil River may not have realistically been expecting a new album from Will Sheff – his stock seemed in decline and it felt like either a sea-change was needed or the band would drift away. The reset of the regular band did dissolve into the real world but Sheff eventually hit a purple patch … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Lucy Roleff – This Paradise
Album Reviews / Folk / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Lucy Roleff – This Paradise

Out of a dreamy mist emerges ornately plucked notes and the heavenly voice of Lucy Roleff. That’s how her album begins and continues over the next beautiful 36 minutes. Classically trained, the Melbourne songwriter sits in the same haunting, autumnal territory as Nick Drake, Aldous Harding, slow motion gothic country and occasionally the European icy … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Gillian Welch – Boots No. 1 The Official Revival Bootleg
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / alt.country / Americana / Bluegrass / Country / Folk / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Gillian Welch – Boots No. 1 The Official Revival Bootleg

It’s been five years since Gillian Welch released a new solo LP, though I guess we’ve been half-satiated with the recent Dave Rawlings Machine album. One hopes that this release is a stopgap collection to both celebrate the 20th anniversary of her debut Revival and reinvigorate her catalogue ahead of a new solo album. This … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Sam Newton – Violet Road
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Folk / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Sam Newton – Violet Road

With a songwriters poise and a natural sense of folk and country musicality, Violet Road is a far superior collection of songs to Sam Newton’s debut Set In Stone, which hinted at his potential. Newton focuses on a couple of themes on the album. Most prominently there’s a trio of songs (‘Hold You Down’, ‘Homesick’ … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Daniel Lanois – Goodbye To Language
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Psychedelic / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Daniel Lanois – Goodbye To Language

Daniel Lanois has long been associated with some of the biggest names in popular music such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, U2, Brian Eno and Emmylou Harris and though his own music is quite different in scope and form, it still shares the core aesthetic values of intellectual creativity and the desire to find something … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Nick Payne – Rise Up Like A River
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / alt.country / Americana / Folk / News / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Nick Payne – Rise Up Like A River

For the last decade Nick Payne has led Sydney folk and bluegrass outfit Dear Orphans across two albums and a ton of live shows. His debut solo album has him keeping one foot firmly in the Dear Orphans camp and the other heading into contemporary Americana. Payne presents the album as two halves, the first … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Devendra Banhart – Ape In Pink Marble
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Folk / Freak Folk / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Devendra Banhart – Ape In Pink Marble

A decade ago, Devendra Banhart was the poster child for the American acid-folk movement that rose out of a close-knit community. As with all scenes, the different members went on to pursue their muses into contrasting and varied territory with Banhart continuing to explore eccentric song form. At first he took it into a more … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Folk / Jazz / Soul / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker

In the pantheon of modern songwriters only a few explore the dark corners of the heart and soul with such poetry, precision and weight as Leonard Cohen. He’s in that revered group alongside Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and increasingly, Nick Cave. Now 82, Cohen sees the end in sight, the curtains closing on a storied … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: James Kenyon – Imagine You Are Driving
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / alt.country / Americana / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: James Kenyon – Imagine You Are Driving

Americana music, when it hits the mark, sounds modern and topical while honouring the country and folk ghosts of the past and James Kenyon has managed to corral his songs into an intriguing amalgam of just that. Kenyon’s style is comparable to the quieter side of Ryan Adams mixed with a hint of Bon Iver … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Glad & Dave’s Dirt Band – The Road
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / alt.country / Americana / Blues / Rock / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Glad & Dave’s Dirt Band – The Road

Between them, Glad Reed and David Claringbold have woven a path through the Australian music industry for the last thirty years. Glad has worked as a musician with Midnight Oil, The Cruel Sea, Laughing Clowns and many more while Dave has forged a successful career in production with acts including The Lighthouse Keepers and The … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: The Ramalamas – East Coast Low
Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Cosmic Country / Rock / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: The Ramalamas – East Coast Low

This is album number three for Sydney quintet The Ramalamas and it finds them successfully capturing their live sound in the studio. There’s a relaxed atmosphere and looseness of playing – in the best possible sense – that defines the spirit the band has, making this a freewheeling and fun album to listen, dance and … Continue reading