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

Marissa Nadler: Little Hells (UN SPK)

Marissa Nadler: Little Hells (UN SPK)

Sounding as if she is being beamed in from some strange part of space down a shimmeringly beautiful cosmic line, this dreamy alt.folk singer from Boston manages to bring together a slightly eerie... > Read more

Trappist Afterland Band: Like a Beehive, the Hill was Alive (theactivelistener)

Trappist Afterland Band: Like a Beehive, the Hill was Alive (theactivelistener)

While we here at Elsewhere have observed the steady rehabilitation and rise again of prog-rock -- albeit in a more focused form than its ancestors in the early Seventies -- it's pleasing to note... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . BARRY GOLDBERG: From lost in the basement to Light in the Attic

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . BARRY GOLDBERG: From lost in the basement to Light in the Attic

The cobwebs are brushed back to reveal a door with a rusty lock. It gives way to a hefty shove and the light from the flaming torch illuminates rows of dusty boxes and there in one way at the... > Read more

The Chicks: The Rebel Kind (1966)

The Chicks: The Rebel Kind (1966)

New Zealand has no great tradition of political pop or rock. All those years of high unemployment during the Flying Nun heyday . . . and who mentioned it? Very few. Even the Springbok tour in... > Read more