Ned Collette: Future Suture (Inertia/The Label)

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Ned Collette: Winter Holiday
Ned Collette: Future Suture (Inertia/The Label)

With a flattened and laconic delivery, chiming acoustic folk-styled guitars and some melodic minimalism, this downbeat but widescreen album by Australian singer-songwriter Collette seems to hark back to earlier periods, sometimes sounding like a gentle collision between Nick Drake and Velvet Underground, at others slipping out of a very early Eno vocal album but embellished by horns.

But when the sounds swell through flutes and the like, and the mood turns darker, Collette also evokes that period when British psychedelia emerged out of art colleges and clever clogs like Robert Wyatt were pulling in a little jazz alongside the rock context.

Collette is more than the sum of his influences however and a sense of very Australian isolation hangs heavily over many of these songs, the Lucky Country and its partners in crime being seen for what they are by one very uncomfortable with it all.

Leavening this tone are the spare songs of love and longing -- and all up this makes for a very special wee album that hurdles no great barriers but carves out a special place for itself.

It peters out a little in the closing overs, but check this guy out.

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