Sep 17, 2007

The Submarine-Whitley

Sometimes I wonder if I write enough about Australian music. I do see a lot of live local music and I think there are a bunch of young, promising bands doing a good job at the moment. But anyone who knows me would know that I am the least parochial person there is. I really do consider parochialism to be a waste of time. To favour one type of music over another, based on its origin, to me seems quite silly. Music is about invention, heart and passion. It knows no borders. Right now I seem to be obsessed about music from Montreal and Portland. I remember years ago Manchester seemed to be the centre of the world. I hope one day Melbourne or Sydney could take that place. I just go where ever the music takes me. So having said all that I am delighted to write about a new Australian album that is thrillingly great. An album full of the beauty that music can offer when it is played with this sort of heart.

"The Submarine" is the debut album from Melbourne's Whitley. And I love it. I have seen this band 3 times this year and have enjoyed every performance. The sound and songwriting strength has grown with every show and it is evident here in this platter of passion. I say band because it feels like a band, having grown to 5 members the last time I saw them. I am pretty sure Whitley started out as a solo project of Lawrence Greenwood, but even he (according to the liner notes) has taken on the moniker of the name of the band. So anyway you look at it, Whitley has created a peaceful, serene album of beautiful tunes that touch on the cornerstones of folk, country and rock. The opening track, "Cheap Clothes" will draw you in straight away with its gentle strings before a banjo enters the scene. Banjo and strings, a pretty hard combination to beat. There are so many other delights through out the record. Moments of quiet beauty, gently plucked guitar, hummable tunes. All augmented by Whitley's gentle croon. His voice has a husky texture that is both comforting and inviting. Lyrically the songs are concerned with poetic images of love and loss, regret and despair. There is a mournful air at work here, but never maudlin. You will be moved, but still have a feeling of joy. I would say this is what most song writers are striving for. Besides the opening track, other stand outs are the live staple "Lost in Time", the shimmering drone of "A Shot To The Stars", the delightful "I Remember", the heart breaking "More Than Life" and the cover of Jeff Buckley's "Mojo Pin". Highly recommended for lovers of music that stirs the soul.
MP3: Lost in Time

1 Comments:

  • At September 18, 2007 , Anonymous James said...

    'The Life I Keep' is also a great track imho. Catching him on Friday night at the Toff in Town here in Melbourne. The support band Seagull aren't too shabby either.

     

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