Our inaugural rundown of some local recent releases.
Ghosts and Shadows
Image by Peter Haden
The first bluesy chords of Come On Back evokes a lonesome world, but one on an edge with a lively, driven beat. A signature harmony of gruff, Americana voices run throughout. Hangtown continues to paint a desolate Wild West but with an enchanting back and forth style to the verses and harmonies returning for the chorus. Love Actually is a soft ballad, Dead Hand Blues draws focus to Mulholland’s guitar-picking ability, and Fool of Love is filled with stadium-filling riffs and heartbroken lyrics. Standout vocals supported by an atmospheric build-up of strings and percussion make Ghosts and Shadows compelling listening.
Empire is a child of the unashamed, uplifting sound of Bruce Springsteen, sung with a voice that’s akin to The Calling’s Alex Band. The singer/songwriter is joined on the record by a full arrangement of instruments giving hopeful tracks Aspire and Empire an appropriately big sound. 2am and Unsaid take a more mellow tone, and are of a style best described as early emo before it got too poppy. Small Worriescanters along with jazzy guitars and a return to uplifting and joyful lyrics. That Night is an appropriate closer, bringing Harrison’s range together into one understatedly triumphant love song.
Sam W Wright
Video by The Twelfth Take
With Inbetween, Sam W Wright creates something simple and beautiful. A touching song sung over acoustic guitar and a straightforward video shot of him playing in a cold, unloved room. The lack of bells and whistles are perfect to showcase Sam’s absorbing voice and guitar. Perfect for a chill out.
Young four-piece Of Colours’ release Bloodless is a haunting and infectious number. A relentless, marching beat with layers of reverberating guitars backing singer Natalie Kolowiecki’s siren call, drawing the listener into a poetic wintery world. Of Colours defy their youth with talent that stands them well for a bright future.