Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sarah Blasko - The Overture & The Underscore


The first time I really heard Sarah Blasko was with her work with a great local indie super-group called Nations By The River, whose live show was one of the best local acts I'd seen in a long time. 

I think we went and brought this album on the strength of her performance and because of her wonderfully natuaral voice.  The girl was born to sing to the masses.  But she can also pen a wonderful tune and has a flair for developing intriguing pop gems.  The Overture & The Underscore not only served as a wonderful debut but acted as a benchmark for the indie-pop-folk-tronica (yeah, I know, another bloody category). 

While the more 'mainstream' singles such as Always Worth It and Counting Sheep did well and showed her ability to write a cracking pop song, it was album tracks such as Perfect Now and marvellous opener, All Coming Back, that pointed at a deeper, more considered ability, one that, with hindsight, has become plainly obvious.   

The biggest question to come out of listening to The Overture & The Underscore is why we don't own anything else by her.



It's so funny looking at the picture of Sarah Blasko on the front of this album, because every time I see her I'm reminded how much she resembles a friend of YourZ's.  But as far as I'm aware, Alex still lives in London and isn't leading a double life as a Sydney singer-songwriter. (YourZ sez: I can confirm this is indeed the case although the resemblance is quite striking).

This is Sarah's debut album and admirably showcases her highly individual voice, which has a slightly raw, breathy fragility while still possessing the strength to draw the listener in.  But despite the gorgeousness of this album, which I have to include in my "removing cranky pants" playlist, it doesn't include my favourite song of hers - a cover.

For those of you who aren't Australian, you may not understand the place legendary pub-rock band Cold Chisel has in our psyche.  Flame Trees is, in my opinion, the best song they ever released, and one night when I was driving home I heard Sarah's version, which was part of the soundtrack for Little Fish, a spectacular Australian film starring Cate Blanchett.  While both versions have their merits, I have to admit I love Sarah's just that little bit more.

Anyway, while this album doesn't have that song on it, it's still a beautiful piece of pop music.  Highly recommended.


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