Karen Hunter: Rubble (Monkey)

 |   |  <1 min read

Karen Hunter: Drunk & Disorderly
Karen Hunter: Rubble (Monkey)

The guy who wrote the liner notes for this long overdue album by Auckland singer-songwriter Hunter -- it was me actually -- says he can well remember the first time he saw her perform: it was over 15 years ago and she stood so far outside the self-proscribed parameters that most musicians put on themselves you couldn't help but be stunned.

Hunter rocked from powerchords to soft acoustic balladry, embarked on free-flying spoken word, had a slippery jazz quality, and at other times she sounded like a folk singer.

She was "alt" long before there was "alt", if you know what I mean.

She continued her idiosyncratic path for many years but with little reward or comprehension from critics, then these past few years took time off to study jazz. My guess is she probably could have taught her tutors a thing or two.

The result is this album which is much more musically coherent than her previous outings (do yourself a favour and find The Private Life of Clowns and InsideOutside however), and in places owes more than a little to the early sound of Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones.

But those are only the most obvious references and keen ears will hear much more in the emotional depth of these songs. And some strange soundbeds for her lyrics.

Karen Hunter is one of a kind, and this album is further proof of that.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Come Together, Black America sings Lennon and McCartney (Ace)

Various Artists: Come Together, Black America sings Lennon and McCartney (Ace)

Although their peers like the Rolling Stones, the Downliner Sect and Pretty Things were more profoundly influenced by black American music, the Beatles certainly drew on that deep well. In... > Read more

Moana and the Tribe: Rima (Black Pearl)

Moana and the Tribe: Rima (Black Pearl)

For my money the most powerful, enjoyable and important act on the mainstage at this year's Womad in Taranaki – and there were some over-acclaimed but perfunctory internationals –... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE JESUS PAPERS by MICHAEL BAIGENT: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

THE JESUS PAPERS by MICHAEL BAIGENT: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

When the court case between two of the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, was being played out in London a couple of years ago, commentators... > Read more

PERLMANN'S SILENCE by PASCAL MERCIER

PERLMANN'S SILENCE by PASCAL MERCIER

Those who are nervous about speaking in public usually have the perfect way out, they simply don't do it. And, for most, the required occasions are mercifully few so the paralysing fear never... > Read more