Yet another of the "troubador" lads that line our collection, Josh Pyke stands out to me because of his unashamed Australian accent. There are many people who jump up and down in this country about hip-hop artists if they rap with US accents, but nobody seems to give a damn about singers. And yet here's Mr Pyke, flattening his vowels with the best of them.
Apart from that I think he's got a lot to offer. The melodies soar and swoop, he's got a nice line in romantic imagery beyond the trite moon-and-June stuff, and his voice can hold its own with any of the other man-and-his-guitar (plus some additional orchestration) albums we own.
I haven't listened to this a lot before - and I'll have to remember it for some kitchen music, as it forms a thoughtful background for mindless tasks like chopping and stirring. Nice.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
I first remember seeing Josh Pyke out front of his band, An Empty Flight, when they supported Sick Puppies at a small local Sydney venue. Although I was more interested in the headliners, I was suitably impressed by Pyke's smart and sharp indie rock. This was in the early 00s. (Mine says: and one of our fist dates, as I recall!) Since then, both the Puppies and Mr Pyke have seen their respective careers bloom.
But his solo work is very removed from his band. Instead of taking a further step down the math-rock road, Pyke stripped himself back to reveal the bare, beautiful bones of his song writing. After first gaining exposure with the single, Kids Don't Sell Their Hopes So Fast and its accompanying EP, he followed up with a number of EPs before releasing Memories & Dust. As a début, it deserves to be hailed as a classic, not only for the strength of the songs but also for the sheer weight of his talent. Boy, can this man sing and play.
Unfortunately, this is another of those discs we've added to the collection at some point then promptly forgot about. This is not indicative of a bad record, more of a bad memory (on my part). But I can't help but listen to this and get a hankering for Elliot Smith. The similarities between the two artists are striking. This isn't a good or a bad thing, but its there for all to hear. Maybe it is because I'm such a fan of Elliot that I'm unable to fully appreciate Josh. However, I'm willing to make an effort because I really do believe he's worth it.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
For more information go to http://www.joshpyke.com/