CHART DISC 09 VOL. 02
Reviewed by Joe Dodgshun
In celebration of the APRA Silver Scroll Awards being held in Christchurch for the first time (heck, the first time in the South Island, even), CHART, the Christchurch Music Industry Trust, have released the second installation of CHART DISC for 2009. On hearing the compilation was an alt-country, nu-folk themed edition I recall that I may have visibly winced. Then again, on hearing who was in the album, my ignorance of what alt-country, nu-folk actually encompasses reared its ugly head. These were amazing bands from church-town that I loved and was trying to track down tracks from anyway, score!
First and foremost of course, is the glorious track Apple Pie Bed which earned Lawrence Arabia a.k.a. Cantabrian James Milne the APRA song of the year award and it’s no wonder it won, its whimsical harmonies could make even the most cynical spinster swoon.
Lindon Puffin And The Transgressions pick up the reins with a sneak peek into their upcoming debut through Jesus Girl, a swinging track with a subtle rockabilly twang, which then segues into I Can’t Get Your Cruel Love Off My Mind from The Unfaithful Ways. This dapper crew, who came second equal at the RDU RoundUp contest, are insanely tight live and this probably counts as the most traditional country piece on the album, full of longing and heartbreak.
Continuing on, The Eastern are another part of the Lyttelton horde who frequent venues such as The Wunderbar and their song Misty And Jimmy is a full on stomping party, duelling banjo lines against lively acoustic guitars. Kim K continues the energy with a keening voice and acoustic bubble gum folk with her RDU favourite, Marionette.
Offerings from Hera (the violin drenched The Devil And Me) and The Easy Hearts bring the tempo down to make way for the brilliance of last year’s Roundup champions Von Klap. The alt-country whiskey fuelled slur of Vic’s Town recalls the more paranoid moments of Modest Mouse, perfectly setting the stage for Delaney Davidson. Davidson persists with the darkly themed theatrics and Around The World is propped up with a deliciously bloated tuba line.
Tim Chesney follows with a beautiful indie acoustic song in All We Could Do, echoed by the delicate tones afforded next to a remix by Trillion, a.k.a. Jody Lloyd, of The Bat’s Up To The Sky. Following The Leader is a perfectly formed baroque folk track caught in a daydream, lifted skywards by heavenly lilting vocals and one of many standouts on Ragamuffin children’s latest album. The aptly named Be All And End All from Flip Grater softly ends the compilation on sweet note.
Summing words? Stop reading, go get it! (From places such as Real Groovy, Galaxy Records etc. Go!)