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: Delta Swamp Rock Vol 2 (Soul Jazz)

Various Artists: Delta Swamp Rock Vol 2 (Soul Jazz)

Although picking up the scent from the first excellent volume in this series which joins the dots between rock, soul and country music, these 20 tracks -- while not without interest -- don't have... > Read more

Alt-J: This is All Yours (Infectious)

Alt-J: This is All Yours (Infectious)

Much as I liked the debut album by this British outfit An Awesome Wave and said they seemed likely to be the Next Indie.Cult Thing to go bigger, I certainly had reservations about seeing them live.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

KARIN KROG CONSIDERED (2015): A rare voice from the north

KARIN KROG CONSIDERED (2015): A rare voice from the north

Because no sensible soul would come to a website called Elsewhere to hear just the familiar, we can confidently speak about the extraordinary, often uncategorisable Norwegian jazz singer Karin Krog... > Read more

Various Artists: Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Ghanaian Blues 1968-81 (Sound Way)

Various Artists: Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Ghanaian Blues 1968-81 (Sound Way)

In the past few years there has been a remarakble rediscovery and re-issue of music out of various parts of Africa: Elsewhere has previously noted the comprehensive (and enjoyable) Funky Lagos... > Read more