Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Jen Cloher- In Blood Memory

In Blood Memory is the third studio release from Melbourne based singer songwriter Jen Cloher, and it's a sonic departure from her previous albums, but it's a brave leap and it more than works. Whereas her previous albums were very bare with plenty of space, this album delivers a unique musical palette. With a focus on layered guitar sounds with a general rough feel this is an album that is a rock album, raw and loose. Like her previous albums there is an intense personal feel to each song, and there is a darker more ominous feel to the songs, certainly it sounds like it musically with Cloher taking a leaf from the Neil Young/Crazy Horse style.

The album makes it's presence felt with the opening track and first single from the album Mt Beauty, with the aching refrain, "why does it take me so long to get over someone". I love how her songs capture that sense of loss and despair, she is a truly unique songwriter. David Bowie Eyes has a loose country feel to it with Cloher looking back over shoulder, there is some great pedal steel in the solo, and then your sonically assaulted by these fuzz guitar, but it all belongs.

Honey don't leave
Make me feel like I'm seventeen
Listening to the lizard king
Break on through.

Name in Lights shines a light on the disillusion of love and Cloher delivers it with a mixture of irony and contempt, it's a wonderful mix.

O Lover I don't know what to believe
I'm a hopeless romantic, yeah I got the disease
Love's a feeling, a feeling ain't fact
Happiness is a chemical Daren Hanlon said that.

Toothless Tiger has a solid rock feel, with a thunderous drum opening. Cloher's voice once again displays a disaffected tone and has some nice wordplay. Needs has a wryly dark feel to it, it's am acknowledgement of the dangerous side of needing something so badly. The album has only seven songs but it's a great leap forward for Jen Cloher, I'm looking forward to seeing this one played live.

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