This is the sixth album from Australian First Nation singer/songwriter Glenn Skuthorpe and it is a cracker. Glenn has the perfect voice to convey these fine songs inspired by his homeland.
The album opens with the title track and the melancholic lyric hits you straight away and gives you an early indication of the power of the writing on this album. The second track, Disposition is a lyrical jewel and the line “she dances like grass being pushed through the wind in a field” is evocative and beautiful.
Leaky old boat comes next and its waltz-like time is accompanied by more of the profound lyrics that epitomise this album.
More Than a Half Light with its banjo opening that leads into a musically beautiful song and Wild Acacias, with its easy-going charm, continue the theme of heartfelt lyrics over gorgeous melodies.
Perfect Formation is probably my favourite track. It sashays along with a subtle accordion backing, telling a tale as old as time. This song feels like it could have been written by anyone from the pantheon of great country music composers. It is simply that good.
Late December is another beautifully arranged track that leads into the live version of Soles of My Shoes which is a simple but absolutely heart-wrenching song.
Chasing Butterflies is a nostalgia-filled tale of longing after days and songs gone by. Run Like the Wind has more rocky edge and, like a few songs on this album, reminds me of Nebraska era Bruce Springsteen at his best and there can be no higher compliment than that.
Something on my Mind was originally released by Culture is Life, a group working to reduce self-harm and suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. It includes vocals by co-writers Jedda Costa and Louis Mokak and piano accompaniment by Alice Skye. It is a track that perfectly conveys the situation these youngsters find themselves in and ends up offering the hope that they “won’t be alone”.
I Saw the Tail paints another gorgeous picture of angst as does the following track, The Flood.
I have talked a lot about the lyrics on this album and they are indeed superb but I should also mention the vocal performance and the musical backing which are both right on the money.
Where is the Ocean, the beautiful closing track, wraps up things up with yet more impassioned and moving lyrics.
Glenn Skuthorpe has produced an album filled with compelling, earthy and heart-breakingly honest songs. Each one is a gem in its own right but, put together, they add up to one beautiful album that is a must listen.
Visit Glenn Skuthorpe's website http://glennskuthorpe.com/
Author: Hughie McNeill