CD Review: Carry Nation – Like a River Does

Review: Victoria Nugent

Carry Nation   Brisbane solo artist Carry Nation’s debut album Like A River Does is the perfect soundtrack for lazy summer days spent in contemplation, with its rich, full sound and intimate lyrics. Built around the foundation of the voice and guitar of Brisbane songwriter Jessie Warren, the recording sees her joined by bass, string and percussion players, with their music making the ideal accompaniment for Warren’s strong and honest vocals.

Warren began playing guitar at sixteen, writing her first song at seventeen, and playing her first show at the Verve Cafe at eighteen.

A short stint studying a Bachelor of Science only served to convince her that she’d be better suited to more creative pursuits, and her ensuing shift into photography has been only one part of her artistic journey, as she continued to play more live shows alongside artists such as Darren Hanlon, Washington and McKisko, gaining a small cult following in Brisbane.

Recording began in Brisbane’s Old Museum in the city centre in March 2009 and the result is an intimate window into the mind of the talented songstress. Named for the idea that Warren floats around “like a river does”, the resulting album is a wonderful showcasing of her strong, unashamedly Australian vocals and her ability to produce meaningful lyrics across a range of topics. “Phil Spector” is a wonderful example, written about the talented American songwriter who was last year convicted of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. The song itself is heartbreakingly and hauntingly tender, exploring rage, secrecy and domestic violence with powerfully tragic lyrics.

“Braking is For Heroes” is another example of Warren’s touching lyrics with the strains of violins lingering in the background of the track. Her voice takes on a husky quality throughout the slow paced song, with backing vocals giving a fuller sound to the track.

Other songs on the album are more cheerful. “Nothing is Forever” for instance, is a beautiful, upbeat sounding love song about how relationships are worth taking a risk. With intimate and sweet lyrics such as, “If I could live forever, I’d give half my days to you”, Warren’s guitar proves a strong element in the backing music, teamed with a variety of other instruments.

Like A River Does is an album to listen to on a Sunday afternoon whilst sitting on the balcony while a gentle breeze rustles the leaves of nearby trees. Carry Nation is music to not only soothe the savage beast, but also to guide you home.