Good World Music
The winning combo is having something to say – and the right way to say it; having songs and having a voice that push those songs into (the right) place. So it is with Caroline Easther’s solo debut; a long-time-coming project that collects up songs from a musician who has been steadily writing and singing as a frontperson or co-frontperson (Let’s Planet) as well as a pedigree playing drums in several great bands (The Chills, Verlaines, Beat Rhythm Fashion) and assisting as a multi-instrumentalist and duet partner/backing/harmony vocalist with Barry Saunders and Hobnail (again among others). So it really is no surprise that Lucky is as good as it is – it’s not luck, and if anyone’s lucky it’s the audience.
Opening modern country weepie I Believe You Tonight sets the tone and takes on that western-swing torch ballad setting in much the same way as the very finest of Nicole Atkins’ work.
From there it’s to Go-Betweens-esque indie pop (Anything For You) and country balladry (Down) almost turnabout. Your Footsteps Falling is upbeat jangle-pop with just enough of a country flavour sitting in underneath, Find Me could have been a Fur Patrol set-closer back in the day. The shuffle of Jaguar Boy hints at her work with Hobnail and Saunders – with a really great vocal performance to carry it.
The charming waft of instrumental, Goodbye Little Boy, has wordless vocals to carry it out whereas Meg’s Song is frontloaded with story before drifting off via a lush guitar solo that is all space and hue and very reminiscent – in the very best way – of some of Paul Kelly’s very best work.
The nine originals all shine here. A class musician – writer, singer, player. And then to close we have a duet with Barry Saunders on the staple, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. Their voices blend like scotch on the rocks and a very good night. It’s the perfect send-off to a faultless record.
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