Down For It
Vorn Colgan has been doing double-duty this year, releasing this new solo album and working as a member of manic electro-punks, Gold Medal Famous.
Down For It might be the first time you’ve heard of Vorn – hopefully it will steer you towards a back-catalogue of a half-dozen albums. Colgan is one of this country’s greatest songwriters, never cloying or faux-romantic; these are direct songs; honest, cynical, sincere, hilarious and in many cases ridiculously catchy. Vorn’s lyrics move from the struggle to buy condoms and having a crush on the girl at Family Planning (The Family Planning Song) to an acutely aware self-effacement (Stop Making Bedroom Albums).
Just when you think it might all be tongue-in-cheek you hear a gorgeous melody and a clever hook. Mental Health Issues In Newtown Pt.2 is a beautiful song, made all the more so for arriving on the back of the sludge-riff opener, Nah Blues.
Colgan’s deft skill is in singing about today; actual social commentary. And of course in making it all tuneful and witty and so much more than the obvious joke that is often in the title. A song like You Don’t Have To Hate Yourself To Sleep With Me (But It Helps) – split in to two parts near the start and end of the album – is worthy of mentioning just for the title. Call it a bonus that it’s a wryly observed short-story/song with the kind of hook you just don’t find all that often in local songwriting; heck in any songwriting for that matter.
One of my favourite albums of this year – and hopefully an introduction to a wider audience for one of our greatest songwriters currently on (or rather under and to the side of) the scene.