The Pre­dictable Cri­sis of Mod­ern Life

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Ian Cuth­bert­son

Jack Carty & Ca­sual Psy­chotic

Gig­piglet/In­er­tia LAST year Syd­ney-based singer-song­writer Jack Carty re­leased his break­through sec­ond al­bum,

Break Your Own Heart. Carty’s lyrics and folky songs had po­etry and wis­dom but also wit, with wry ob­ser­va­tions on the gen­er­a­tion he be­longs to (he’s 25). The com­bi­na­tion of great live per­for­mances, im­pres­sive tunes and a gen­er­a­tion em­brac­ing its own re­flec­tion car­ried the al­bum up the charts and filled venues across the coun­try in a year of re­lent­less tour­ing. On The Pre­dictable

Cri­sis of Mod­ern Life, Carty has taken a dar­ing leap into new ter­ri­tory in a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Syd­ney pro­ducer Ca­sual Psy­chotic. Things be­gin with choral am­bi­ence over spo­ken words (sup­plied by the singer’s grandad) on the sin­gle What Does

Your Heart Say?. The words are about how a man is in­clined to face hope­less­ness and in­de­ci­sion at age 40. Soon enough the fa­mil­iar Carty sound emerges, with vo­cals dou­ble-tracked here and there and clever acous­tic gui­tar parts. There’s a strik­ing elec­tric gui­tar solo be­fore it all ends in a sonic freak­out. Cool beats usher in Strung Along, which soon de­vel­ops into a rock bel­ter with Carty’s spir­ited high tenor el­e­gantly rid­ing the pow­er­ful sonic wave. Tun­nel Vi­sion (‘‘ev­ery cy­clone has a cen­tre, ev­ery hur­ri­cane must end’’) is a bit of throw­back to the slow, acous­tic bal­ladry of Break Your Own Heart with dis­tant game­lan sounds creep­ing in at the sides. Of­fi­cially an EP,

Cri­sis has eight strong songs at a to­tal length of 28 min­utes. One song short of a full al­bum, it sees Carty move on stylis­ti­cally with­out los­ing his iden­tity or any of the qual­i­ties that make him spe­cial. The baby has not been thrown out with the bath­wa­ter — it has sim­ply grown stronger.

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