Amer­i­cana

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Re­views - Polly Coufos

Canyons Chris Pick­er­ing Re­sus­ci­ta­tion Records Be­tween the gui­tar-drenched peaks of Canyons and The Wash, Mel­bourne-based Chris Pick­er­ing has con­structed a richly de­tailed, one-man jour­ney. A Mor­ri­cone-es­que gui­tar line at the be­gin­ning of the open­ing ti­tle track sug­gests the scope of Pick­er­ing’s vi­sion and his im­pres­sive skill. He is ca­pa­ble of al­most sin­gle-hand­edly cre­at­ing cap­ti­vat­ing music in a va­ri­ety of styles. His in­flu­ences are im­pec­ca­ble: Neil Young comes to mind when his gui­tar goes into over­drive, Paul McCart­ney when the melodies get un­der your skin, Big Star with his DIY pop sen­si­bil­ity and even Ru­fus Wain­wright at times. Recorded at Joshua Tree and Nashville in al­most equal mea­sure and sep­a­rately co-pro­duced by Adrian Mauro (Ma­chine Age) and An­drija To­kic (Alabama Shakes), there is much space to high­light the play­ing. On Snowflake his fin­ger­pick­ing is pitched against the steel of Michael Flan­ders. Sa­van­nah Jo Lack’s strings add a touch of class to An­dalu­sia and when Pick­er­ing brings it down to voice and gui­tar on Broke My Own Heart the re­sults are no less en­gag­ing. The al­bum cul­mi­nates with the 12minute The Wash. It has a slow and ca­sual build as if the end of the world has come af­ter a heavy lunch on a lazy Sun­day af­ter­noon. “Af­ter all, it all comes out in the wash,” Pick­er­ing sweetly in­tones as Chloe Turner’s word­less cho­rus acts as a siren call. Flan­ders’ steel sug­gests a grow­ing wind be­fore Pick­er­ing’s pow­er­ful elec­tric gui­tar dumps on ev­ery­thing like a trop­i­cal storm. A re­mark­able end to a re­mark­able record­ing.

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