BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Eva Prowse: I Can't Keep Secrets (Eva Prowse/Rhythmethod)

 |   |  1 min read

Eva Prowse: Complacency
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Eva Prowse: I Can't Keep Secrets (Eva Prowse/Rhythmethod)

Prowse -- here with her debut album -- has probably crossed more people's paths than they might think: she has toured with Fly My Pretties, opened for Wanda Jackson and appeared on the excellent album Trouble on the Waterfront by her father Chris Prowse.

That is emblematic of her musical dexterity, and the fact she has the Phoenix Foundation's Samuel Flynn Scott producing and playing here, Lee Prebble recording and mixing at his Surgery Studios in Wellington, along with the likes of Rio Hunuki-Heopo of TrinityRoots and other luminaries shows the high regard in which she is held.

And we might also note the sensitive, artistic packaging which comes with design and illustration by a couple of other Prowses.

This is a debut with everything in place and all Prowse has to do is deliver, which she seems to do effortlessly in assured songwriting and vocals which sit in an area between alt.folk and gentle indie.pop-rock coloured by her evocative violin, some keening guitar work and mandolin, saw, piano . . . 

Prowse has an easy, almost conversational style to her lyrics where a phrase -- sometimes slightly familiar, sometimes memorably pointed -- becomes a key line or the chorus, and in that refinement she is much like Greg Johnson. It's an art to sound this effortless, and free of artifice.

And when the arrangements shift from alt.pop with a touch of slightly Irish fiddle or wide-open country-style guitar (or moody landscape) this one moves discreetly through styles whle keeping Prowse as the focus. She's smart, funny and acerbic ("read my book on the company, don't like description, I read the story, just let the pictures do the work for me") and the titles alone tell you that much: Hope Remains, In the Agora, She's Bound to Get You, Fashion Vs Function . . .

And the closer, the seven minute Pirie Street, is an ascending, slightly bluesy piece ("I don't think I can trust a handyman, leave him alone with the key to my home") which changes shape and intensity as it goes -- and is enhanced by the disconcerting sound of the saw. It's like a strange circus tune.

This is not just an impressive debut, it is impressive on all counts. And proof you don't have to rush a debut album: better to work for a while, find out what you can do best, and get a decent body of diverse, interesting and literate songs together.

Prowse has done all that, and more, here. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Willis Earl Beal: Experiments in Time (CD Baby)

Willis Earl Beal: Experiments in Time (CD Baby)

Wllis Earl Beal has released two such different albums -- Acoustmatic Society which were home recordings pulled together from the scores he had made, then the soulful and more straightahead Nobody... > Read more

Family Cactus: Come Howling (Sony)

Family Cactus: Come Howling (Sony)

Given that members of this seven piece have connections with excellent New Zealand bands such as the Brunettes, the Nudie Suits, Grand Prix, Good Laika and others, you'd think this album would have... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GREETINGS FROM ROUTE 66, edited by MICHAEL DREGNI

GREETINGS FROM ROUTE 66, edited by MICHAEL DREGNI

When, in 1946, Bobby Troup wrote what became his classic song Route 66, he could hardly have anticipated how popular it would become. After all, he'd really only written a few words and the hook... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Amiria Grenell

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Amiria Grenell

Sometimes you wonder if certain people had any choice other than to be a musician. For folk singer Amiria Grenell it runs in the family. Her father is famous country singer John Grenell... > Read more