Tag Archives: Victoria Nugent

The Bon Scotts – Kids in Counterfeit | Single Review

Review by: Victoria Nugent

  It may come as surprise to listeners to discover that The Bon Scotts do not specialise in AC/DC covers, but instead ramshackle folk pop tunes that are quite catchy. Now that oft repeated but necessary disclaimer is out of the way, let me tell you about the infectious sounds spun by this Melbourne group with multiple vocalists and a mish mash of instrumentation.

Continue reading The Bon Scotts – Kids in Counterfeit | Single Review

Lindi Ortega – Little Red Boots | Album Review

Review by: Victoria Nugent

Little Red Boots - Lindi OrtegaLittle Red Boots – Lindi Ortega
  Often touted as Toronto’s best kept secret, this Canadian country music singer has been thriving in the local indie music scene since the early 2000s. Ortega’s alternative country style is a little bit classic country and a little bit rockabilly with influences ranging from Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash to Emmylou Harris. However, she also has a foot firmly planted in the indie scene with credentials including singing backing vocals with Brandon Flowers and supported indie group Noah and the Whale.

However, if Ortega’s new material gets enough airplay, it may just be enough to secure her a place of her own in the heart of country music fans. Marrying sweet vocals with twangy guitar riffs, cheerful rockabilly tunes and clever lyrics, Little Red Boots stops short of being cliché to sit firmly in the middle of brilliance. The music is strong on lap steel , harmonica and slow acoustic guitar but the instrumentals come second to Ortega’s vocals, which shine through in every song.

The album and eponymous single are named after her signature red boots that she got while on tour with Kevin Costner. This personal connection sets the tone for the album, which seems to really give a glance into Ortega’s own world.

Ortega’s third album kicks off with ‘Little Lie’, an enticing tune with a kicking beat underscoring lyrics about lying to a lover.

Upbeat rockabilly track ‘Bluebird’ quickly showed its capability for getting stuck in my head, with its infectious chorus and truckloads of bounce. It reminded me somewhat of Kasey Chambers’ more recent tracks, but without the nasal tones.

Ortega also shows a knack for melancholy anthems, shifting the tempo down in songs such as ‘When All The Stars Align’ and ‘So Sad’.

In ‘Angels’ Ortega shows off slightly warbling but strong vocals against plucky bluegrass with plaintive lyrics.

‘I’m No Elvis Presley’ is an incredibly fun song as Ortega belts out tongue in cheek lyrics- “I’m no one, not legendary, I’m nothing extraordinary” to a soundtrack of rapid lap steel. Ironically the song has an underlying beat and riffs which reminded me somewhat of Elvis’s style, but with a country edge. I’m talking ‘All Shook Up’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes’.

Little Red Boots is Ortega’s personal anthem but it is perhaps too close to her own heart to really capture anyone else’s. To me, this song seemed to embody the worst side of country music with the lyrics lacking meaning and the music lacking vibrancy with slightly too much jolt. That said, I feel like it would probably suit its purpose in a live context… imagine Ortega strolling onto stage in her red boots and busting out with that song straight up. However, it kind of falls flat on the album.

‘Jimmy Dean’ is relentlessly catchy with a haunting edge as Ortega sings of “the ghost of Jimmy Dean”.

The album rounds out with ‘So Sad’, an incredibly melancholy number with soaring vocals.

Little Red Boots is an album to set toes tapping, with a great mix of upbeat and slower songs. I love the amount of pop culture references on the album, from Elvis to James Dean to songs that seem to hark back to other great country songs. Forlorn lyrics about lost love are matched with upbeat tempos to temper out some of the sadness, while positive numbers are positively jumping with energy. After this gets some airplay, the singer dubbed “Indie Lindi” mightn’t be much of a secret anymore.

Track listing

1. Little Lie
2. When All the Stars Align
3. Blue Bird
4. Angels
5. I’m No Elvis Presley
6. Little Red Boots
7. Dying of Another Broken Heart
8. All My Friends
9. Fall Down Or Fly
10. Jimmy Dean
11. Black Fly
12. So Sad

Lindi Ortega Official Site

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Marianne Faithfull – “Horses and High Heels” – Album Review

Review: Victoria Nugent
I was a little disappointed when I discovered Marianne Faithfull’s latest album Horses and High Heels consisted mainly of covers. The folk singer better known as a former lover of Mick Jagger during the heyday of the Rolling Stones has over thirty years of singing experience, and I was rather hoping to hear a full body of original songs rather than the mere four present on her 23rd solo album.

Nevertheless Faithfull has gathered a stellar group of supporting artists such as Lou Reed and Dr John to flesh out the album, turning her hand to songs from across a wide range of genres and styles. Produced again by Hal Willner and recorded in the New Orleans French Quarter, the album makes use of New Orleans musicians in the band.
Continue reading Marianne Faithfull – “Horses and High Heels” – Album Review

Buddy Miller- Majestic Silver Strings [Album Review]

Review: Victoria Nugent

  American country singer Buddy Miller’s latest offering Majestic Silver String feels like less of an album than a country music compilation with an extensive roster of guest vocalists filling out the tracks.

There’s a bit of a throwback to 70s style country, with the whole album coming across as mellow and somewhat prairie sounding in places. This is country music that is undeniably American, with strains of bluegrass and yodelling permeating the album.

Buddy Miller has teamed up with other country guitarists Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Greg Leisz to create the solid, if occasionally tired instrumentals that form the backbone of most of the tracks.

“Cattle Call” starts off with an extended instrumental that is pure bluegrass, lonesome and twangy, with the eventual addition of Miller’s mellifluous vocals and a tinge of yodelling.

In “No Good Lover”, Miller teams up with Ann McCrary for a duet with bite, focusing on the demise of a relationship, with McCrary’s bold vocals the true focal point for the song.

“Meds” is a melancholy lament founded on sweet but slightly bland vocals from Lee Ann Womack. Chocolate Genius’ cover of “Dang Me” has a distinctly soul edge which seems slightly incongruous.

“Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie” with deep vocals from Marc Ribot is dark, edgy and a little on the raw side. “That’s The Way Love Goes” is sweet and tender with finely honed vocals from Shawn Colvin.The instrumental version of “Freight Train” comes across as light and charming, yet thoroughly accomplished.

Ultimately, this is a very mild album, and I couldn’t help but wish that things would spice up occasionally. All the same, the tracks are fairly easy to listen, with nothing too unpleasant in the way of instrumentals or vocals, apart from a slight want of pizzazz.

Album Track List:
1. Cattle Call (Buddy Miller sings)
2. No Good Lover (Buddy Miller & Ann McCrary sing)
3. I Want To Be With You Always (Buddy Miller & Patty Griffin sing)
4. Barres De La Prison (Marc Ribot sings)
5. Meds (Lee Ann Womack sings)
6. Dang Me (Chocolate Genius sings)
7. Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie (Marc Ribot sings)
8. That’s The Way Love Goes (Shawn Colvin sings)
9. Freight Train (Instrumental)
10. Why I’m Walkin’ (Emmylou Harris sings)
11. Why Baby Why (Buddy Miller & Marc Ribot sing)
12. Return To Me (Lee Ann Womack sings)
13. God’s Wing’ed Horse (Buddy & Julie Miller sing)

Review: Victoria Nugent

More articles by Victoria Nugent:
* Rocketsmiths “The Bones” – Album Review
* Angus and Julia Stone @ The Tivoli, Brisbane – 25 September 2010 with Luluc – Live Review
* Bonfire Nights “Bonfire Nights” EP Review
* Bec Plath “At The End of the Night” – Single Review
* More article by Victoria Nugent

JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys – “Fidelity” CD Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

Buy Album Here
  Fidelity is a very interesting and enjoyable collaboration between Chrissie Hyde of The Pretenders’ fame, and Welsh musician JP Jones. The first song on the album, “Perfect Lover” sums up the musical history of the group, with Hyde singing, “I found my perfect lover, but he’s only half my age.” To elaborate a bit further, Hyde and Jones had a brief relationship which fizzled because of the age difference. Rather than let their chemistry go to waste however, the pair formed a band, setting the story of their relationship to music. A theme of fairs and fairgrounds permeates the album, from the cover art to the conclusion of the word Fairground in several song titles.

“If You Let Me In” is straight forward rocky with hooky, repetitive lyrics and lots of vocal harmonising. “Fairground Luck” has an infectious melody that’s occasionally reminiscent of “Lean On Me” during the verses with strong riffs and Jones’ charismatic vocals carrying the choruses.
Continue reading JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys – “Fidelity” CD Review

The Bohemian Masquerade Ball @ The Old Museum, Brisbane 9th October 2010 – Live Review

Review: Victoria Nugent
Photos: Charlyn Cameron

It wasn’t a typical night out, but as the Old Museum in Bowen Hills came alive for the Bohemian Masquerade, it promised to be a spectacular evening. The event was spread out over two large rooms and a verandah, with decadent costumes and masks adding to the amazing atmosphere.

The first room started out with house music, before transitioning into a range of DJs and bands which got the crowd dancing. Continue reading The Bohemian Masquerade Ball @ The Old Museum, Brisbane 9th October 2010 – Live Review

Rocketsmiths “The Bones” – Album Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

  The Bones by Brisbane band The Rocketsmiths is relentlessly, unashamedly rock with edgy guitars, and taut vocals by the bucket load. These guys have been described as vaudevillian rock, and there’s a definite hint at the weird and wacky in their songs.

The first track of the album is Monster Part 1, which features some dark riffs, a catchy beat, wailing vocals, and great dynamics, switching from loud to soft throughout the song.

This song is followed up with a later track on the album called “Monster Parts 2 &3”, and starts off with eerie organ, echoing vocals and a tempo that steadily gets faster, before breaking into edgy riffs and screaming vocals.
Continue reading Rocketsmiths “The Bones” – Album Review

Nick Batterham [Self Titled] – Single Review

Review: Victoria Nugent


Second Lovers
This unnamed single is intended as a taste of Nick Batterham’s debut solo album Second Lovers due out in October, and it shows a skilled collection of laidback folk from the singer songwriter.

Batterham is a former member of Blindside and The Earthmen, and in more recent years has been doing sound design, producing music for film and TV and playing guitar for Cordrazine.

The disc kicks off with ‘Dragonfly’, a melodic folk tune with simplistic lyrics and gentle acoustic guitar. ‘From Now On’ starts with a slow piano intro, with husky,

slightly gravelly vocals giving the song a melancholic feel. The occasional chime of bells adds to the atmosphere, as does the addition of slightly seventies sounding electric guitar.
Continue reading Nick Batterham [Self Titled] – Single Review

Angus and Julia Stone @ The Tivoli, Brisbane – 25 September 2010 with Luluc – Live Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

Click image to view photo gallery

[Photo: Naomi Rahim]
  Captivating. Atmospheric. Amazing.
All of these are words that describe Angus & Julia Stone’s performance at The Tivoli on the weekend.

The night started off with another talented boy girl duo, with support act Luluc taking to the stage with a series of folky acoustic songs. Zoe Randall and Steve Hassett played songs that soared with Randall’s full sounding vocals taking centre stage.

Continue reading Angus and Julia Stone @ The Tivoli, Brisbane – 25 September 2010 with Luluc – Live Review

Bonfire Nights “Bonfire Nights” EP Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

  Bonfire Nights are relative newcomers to the Brisbane music scene, but they are truly carving out their own distinct style. Stephen Foster and Ruth Nitkiewicz took the step of joining forces musically earlier this year, with great results. This rocking duo makes music that’s a little bit different from the usual indie pop fare, with great boy girl vocal dynamics, switching with ease between slow harmonic pop and no holds barred indie rock.

“Own Worst Enemy” is pure dark rock, full of low, dirty-sounding intonations, edgy guitar riffs, a short

eerie intro and punchy vocals. “Leave Yourself Open” is slower with great harmonies between Foster and Nitkiewicz, with harmonica woven into almost hypnotic instrumentals. Continue reading Bonfire Nights “Bonfire Nights” EP Review

Bec Plath “At The End of the Night” – Single Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

  This soft single is the latest release from Brisbane vocalist Bec Plath, best known for her vocals with local band The Bloodpoets. At The End of The Night follows Plath’s 2009 debut EP Unrequited, and gives a taste of what we can expect from her next EP.

The single starts with a smooth yet strong piano intro with guitar kicking in shortly before Plath’s melodious vocals. During the chorus, Plath’s vocals take on a slightly sharper edge, building in intensity before softening again for the verses. The piano remains a subtle but constant presence throughout the song, which flows effortlessly through key

changes which add to the track’s originality. Plath’s lyrics are introspective comments about living in a stressful world to which many people would be able to relate. Her vocals are imbued with both honesty and a sense of heart that makes listening seem like a deeply personal act. The music meanders for a while, almost seeming a bit lengthy, before coming to a powerful crescendo towards the end of the track, and then fading out softly. At The End of the Night is a slow-burner with a lot of emotion, and worthy addition to any compilation.

Bec PlathAt The End of the Night is available at iTunes:
BecBec Plath

Related Posts:
CD Review: Bec Plath “Unrequited”

The Boat People “Dear Darkly” – Album Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

Dear Darkly – The Boat People
  It’s hard to decide where to start praising The Boat People’s new album, “Dear Darkly”. The well established Brisbane four-piece has produced an album fluent in the art of quirky pop, a nicely eclectic mix of songs.

The album kicks off with the extremely enjoyable “Under the Ocean” with plenty of “ooohs” and floaty-sounding vocals, coupled with some skilled guitar riffs. “Soporific” is one of the album’s most memorable songs with a great beat, tempo shifts and best of all, clever lyrics. I love the song’s use of intellectual sounding words to a catchy tune. “Boy you’re soporific, but is that your fault or mine? Things they used to be terrific, but now they’re barely anodyne.”

“Echo Stick Guitars” is an amazingly catchy track that starts out with synthesiser and almost robotic sounding high vocals which become loud and chanty for the chorus. The song switches tempo back and forth, showcasing a sound which can only be described as unique. Sure, the lyrics mightn’t always make sense (“Hey champions, hey violins, hey echo stick guitars”) but this shouty pop song had me singing along for the chorus.

“Antidote” is somewhat reminiscent of a Kisschasy love song with its subtle vocals and rolling drums. “Live in The Dark” has a somewhat bold psychedelic sound that’s as complex as it is likeable. “Too Much In My Mind” is an upbeat number with a catchy rhythm, some cutesy synth and fun lyrics about the downside of being too introspective. “Hidden Buses” takes a softer accoustic tone, complete with husky vocals.

Closing out the album, at six minutes long, “You Are Adored” is a musically diverse, romantic (albeit slightly long-winded) ditty that made my heart melt a little bit.

Dear Darkly” is a fantastic showcase of The Boat People’s scope for diverse, unconventional pop. From the sounds of this album, this band isn’t afraid from playing around with sounds and genres, and that is definitely a good thing.

DearDear Darkly – The Boat People

Photo Gallery: The Boat People, Ball Park Music, Disco Nap @ The Troubadour, Brisbane – March 2010
CD Review: The Boat People – Echo Stick Guitars
CD Review: The Boat People – Soporific Single

Timothy Carroll “The Deepest Dive” EP Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

TimothyTimothy Carroll
  After listening to The Deepest Dive, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed, but not because of the quality of the music. Rather, it’s a bit sad to think that this EP will be the last we hear from Timothy Carroll for a while, thanks to his impending move to Sweden.

The Deepest Dive comes a year after the release of Carroll’s debut album For Bread & Circuses and is full of laidback folk tunes, all tying into the theme of change and moving on. It’s a lush listening experience, with the EP boasting exceptionally pretty cover art to boot, taken from a set of French tarot cards.

Continue reading Timothy Carroll “The Deepest Dive” EP Review

The Bank Holidays “Sail Becomes A Kite” CD Review

Review by: Victoria Nugent

  When listening to sophomore album Sail Becomes A Kite by The Bank Holidays, I couldn’t help but smile. The Perth band, made up of Nat Carson and Bekk Crombie on guitar, James Crombie on bass and Stuart Leach on drums, clearly has a talent for producing delightful indie pop. The songs on Sail Becomes A Kite are largely reflective and sweet, with buoyant moments shining through as well. There’s a reason why this band are considered Perth’s pop darlings, producing some amazing, highly enjoyable music.

Continue reading The Bank Holidays “Sail Becomes A Kite” CD Review

Blame Ringo – “At The In-Between” [Single Review]

Review by: Victoria Nugent

  Blame Ringo’s new single At The In-Between is one of those songs that sneaks into your head, and has you singing along before you know it. The energetic track is a tantalising glimpse of things to come on the band’s second album, due out later this year.

At The In-Between is an upbeat slice of indie rock with harmonious, yet catchy lyrics and a sound almost reminiscent of the sixties. The guitar riffs are impressive, and the drumming strong, resulting in the kind of song that makes you want to stop and listen.

Continue reading Blame Ringo – “At The In-Between” [Single Review]