Various: The Woolshed Sessions (Creature)

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Age Pryor: Waterfall
Various: The Woolshed Sessions (Creature)

The low-key sessions which led to this album must have been a pleasure to observe or participate in: they took place at a shed in Golden Bay with singer-songwriter Age Pryor, Justin Clarke and Lee Prebble variously on production, engineering and/or mixing.

This is a collection of wide-open singer-songwriter material from Jess Chambers, Andy Hummel, Age Pryor and others with gentle lap steel, understated drums and bass, and a generally spacious feel which is infectious.

Film maker Gaylene Preston who owns the woolshed in question says "you can hear the landscape in these songs" and while that's the kind of sentimental overstatement you get too often these days, in this instance it is true: Pryor's descriptive Waterfall; the gentle amble of Chambers' Stringing Me Along and Hummel's jazzy swing on I'll Not Bother You Anymore are just a cricket chirrup away from field recordings.

Typical of the New Zealand psyche of course, there is never simply a sunny day without some darkness creeping in, so too some of the songs have lyrics which belie their surface sprightliness.

But they don't detract from the general atmosphere of the light-soaked sessions. 

Lovely . . . and just in time for summer. 

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