Ned Collette and Wirewalker 2Album | Ned Collette By Stewart Mason
Enigmatic but often fascinating electro-acoustic tunes.
Ned Collette, an Australian now based in Berlin, has been getting pleasingly stranger over his last couple of records after a start as a fairly conventional singer-songwriter type. Not like Scott Walker strange or anything, mind: more along the lines of John Southworth (to whom he bears a certain vocal resemblance) or R. Stevie Moore (whose '70s synth-pop instrumentals get a modern updating on the sparkling-then-ghostly "For Roberto"). Ned Collette and Wirewalker 2 continues Collette's collaboration with multi-instrumentalist/producer Joe Talia, with Collette contributing vocals and finger-picked acoustic guitar to Talia's mostly-electronic soundscapes. (The second member of Wirewalker, bassist Ben Bourke, is absent, having just become a new father when the album was being recorded.) The hazy blend of acoustic and synthetic sounds under Collette's witty, literate and often surprisingly dark lyrics is often reminiscent of Leonard Cohen's 1980s forays into synth-pop. That connection is alluded to, in a rather smart-alecky fashion, on "Long You Lie": the lines of one verse are echoed in a boomy, pitch-shifted basso profundo whisper, seemingly meant as an affectionate pisstake of the likes of "First We Take Manhattan." Elsewhere, the breathless vocal delivery, galloping drums and fleet guitar interludes of "Il Futuro Fantastico" make for an immediately compelling album opener, while the haunting "What Lights Have You Seen?" close the proceedings on an appropriately enigmatic note.
|Long You Lie|