61- 615 O’Shea Sony Music www.therealoshea.com
Nashville-based Australian husband and wife duo O’Shea have recognised the importance of both abodes with the respective phone prefix codes in the title of their fourth album 61- 615. Mark and Jay O’Shea harmonise nicely on ‘Start Over’, a strong acoustic number, while Mark goes it solo on the slightly heavier ‘Karaoke and Corona’. Aussie guitarist Lloyd Spiegel adds some subtle blues touches to ‘Just Got Real’, Jay takes lead vocals on the ballad ‘The Trouble With You’, and then O’Shea recruit fellow Australians Travis Collins and The Wolfe Brothers for a smart version of the John Farnham hit ‘Playing To Win’. O’Shea has deliberately kept away from the big Nashville sound on 61- 615, leaving the songs with a clean, crisp finish.
STAND IN THE MIDDLE The Settlement Independent www.thesettlement15.bandcamp.com
The music of Victorian fivepiece band The Settlement lies somewhere between Americana, alternate country and roots music on new album Stand In The Middle, although the waltz-timed ‘Clean Trouble’ with its combination of violin and pedal steel guitar hints at traditional country. The earthy vocals of lead singer and chief songwriter Adrian Calvano gives the band its individuality, and he also adds banjo to the up-tempo ‘She Feels Like Home’, while the slower ‘Blood Moon’ echoes the style of former Australian folk group Redgum. The band sings of benders and hangovers on ‘A Hotel In Brunswick’, however its ‘Carolina’ that takes the mantle of the album’s standout track, with the title track not far behind.