Warm sounds for winter
Here’s a batch of warming sounds for winter, including a new solo album from Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters and a double CD of bluesy guitar licks from Sonny Landreth. Greg Bush writes
RECORDED IN LAFAYETTE Sonny Landreth Provogue/ Mascot www.mascotlabelgroup.com
Recorded in Lafayette, a two-CD set, covers both bases for slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Sonny Landreth. Disc one – the acoustic set – allows Landreth to take a relaxed approach to some live favourites, including ‘Creole Angel’, the often-recorded ‘Key To The Highway’, and a toned-down take of ‘The U.S.S. Zydecoldsmobile’. The second disc – the electric set – opens with ‘Back To Bayou Teche’ with regular contributor Steve Conn’s accordion adding to the zydeco sound which Landreth embraces. Conn takes lead vocals on his own composition ‘The One and Only Truth’, a sevenminute vibrant classic, while Landreth shows off his slide style on ‘True Blue’. Landreth and his Fender guitar have appeared at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festivals, and he gives it a workout on Recorded In Lafayette.
CAMACHO Pete Murray Sony Music www.petemurray.com
Camacho is the sixth album for Aussie singer-songwriter Pete Murray and his first in six years (not counting the acoustic re-release of Blue Sky Blue in 2013). The gap between albums has given Murray time to prepare the new songs, as well as enjoying unrushed sessions in the studio. It’s a new sound, with a warmer depth to his vocals and polished production all round. There’s an emotive, inspirational feel to ‘Take Me Down’, the large “choir” of backing singers giving it extra impetus. ‘Only One’, with its jazzy keyboard interlude, is another nice surprise, and he’s on a winner with the melodic ‘Sold’. Murray channels his inner John Mayer for ‘Long Ride’, and there’s a touch of the blues on ‘Thought I Was’. The title track is arguably the best on Camacho, a worthy comeback album for Murray.
I MUST BE SOMEWHERE Raised By Eagles ABC/ Universal www.raisedbyeagles.com
It’s a mistake to place Melbourne four-piece Raised By Eagles under the country genre. Their ‘Americana’ sound is closer to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, or even The Eagles. Despite playing their first live gig only four years ago, Raised By Eagles has now released three albums, including I Must Be Somewhere. From the opening guitar riff-laden ‘Shape & Line’ to the sensitive title track, Luke Sinclair, Nick O’Mara, Johnny Gibson and Luke Richardson sound like they’ve played together for decades. The band rocks it up on ‘Night Wheels’, in contrast to the quiet ‘Everyday, Everyday’. Much of the band’s original music leans towards mid-paced soft rock, as per ‘Dreamer’ and ‘Gold Rush Blues’, while ‘Every Night’ and ‘By Now’ start off acoustic before reaching rousing finales.
IN DEEP Smoking Martha Independent www.smokingmartha.com
Brisbane indie rockers Smoking Martha, with irrepressible lead vocalist Tasha D, released an EP back in 2014. The band honed its craft performing live in recent years, finally releasing debut album In Deep this year. To whet the appetite, a couple of teasers were released, namely the guitar chord-laden ‘Say You’re Mine’, and the multi-dimensional ‘What’s Her Name?’, commencing as a chunky guitar rocker before a mid-track tempo change. The band unveils its versatility on ‘Ebb of the Tide’, with Mick Broome’s U2-like guitar licks proving the perfect accompaniment to Tasha D’s soaring vocals. In a surprise, ‘Baby Let Me Go’ tones it down, with strings added to the mostly acoustic sound. In Deep finishes with a bang, the hard rocking ‘Stranger Things’ rounding out an exhilarating album.
IS THIS THE LIFE WE REALLY WANT? Roger Waters Sony/Columbia
It may seem a surprise, but the release of Is This The Life We Really Want? marks 25 years since Roger Waters’ last solo rock album, Amused To
Death. However, this new release from the co-founder of legendary rock group Pink Floyd could easily be mistaken for a new album from the band, especially with tracks such as ‘Picture That’ echoing the sound of 1977’s Animals. The ticking clock and muttering voices on ‘When We Were Young’ leads onto ‘Déjà Vu’, both again reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s finest moments, notably Dark
Side Of The Moon. The seemingly fragile quality to Waters’ vocals are misleading, as he moves from the dramatic ‘The Most Beautiful Girl’ to the soaring rock of ‘Smell The Roses’. There won’t be another Pink Floyd album, but this is the next best thing.
CLOSED CIRCUITS: AUSTRALIAN ALTERNATIVE ELECTRONIC MUSIC OF THE ’70S AND ’80S VOL. 1 Various artists Festival/ Warner www.warnermusic.com.au
Enlisting music historian David Nichols, Warner Music has delved into the early use of electronic experimentation in Australia. Closed
Circuits reaches back as far as 1979, where bands such as Voight/465 and Whirlywirld began using synthesisers. The Reels’ ‘Shout and Deliver’, released in 1981, is more poppy, but a year later new wave band Models released the non-album single ‘On’ which, although guitar based, has a distinctive synthesiser solo mid track. The Dugites, featuring Lynda Nutter, delivers ‘Waiting’, a slow, haunting track, while Talking Judy narrates the Metronomes’ A Circuit Like Me’ amid robotic synths. A fascinating album with more volumes to come.