THE DAMES - The Dames (Cockaigne)
It's like you'd never know there's some sort of golden age of music going on in Australia right now.
The Dames are Clare Moore, Kaye-Louise Patterson and Rosie Westbrook.
Rosie's no stranger to jazz and classical, bass, double bass, guitar and, her website blithely remarks, "anything else she can get her hands on". She's released two solo LPs which you can get here.
Clare Moore plays drums, vibes and percussion (the latter I usually take to mean anything else the drummer can hit that isn't actually a drum), has written or co-written four of the ten songs here, and sings.
Kaye-Louise Patterson plays piano, flute, has written five songs and also sings.
There's a few blokes lurking in the background but they're just there to pad things out. Window-dressing, really. (smiley face)
Now, I don't want to go song by song here. It's very much a whole piece, just like an old-fashioned lp; each side of five songs starts out rather deceptively, hooking us in and dragging us across six inches of black whizzing thing.
First thing is the big, gutsy sound. Sensuous too. Takes its time, there's a lot of humour in there, doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. The vistas this one opens up...
Kinda inner-city late night noir, like a film soundtrack humming or a lazy, tipsy afternoon when everything is warm and cosy. There's often a 6ts feel lurking about there, almost like one of those before the movie started in the cinema, all exotic cocktails, pools and palms, satin jumpsuits and a warm breeze... on the banks of the Seine... so sure there's romance in the air, and sensuality, but there's sensibility, and power, and melt in your ear production, superb contrasts between the instruments...
Barry Adamson really grabs your attention with his lush, retro-feel production winding tuff with ethereal beauty. Dudley, for example, which puts Kaye's rather lovely flute up against Rosie's warm, Guinness-in-winter bass-lines. The song positively hovers above you.
"5468 Jump", for example, is like a mini-thesaurus in mood; it's super groovy, like what jazz might've been if fusion hadn't put the glue on everyone's sandals. There's leaping beauty, frisson, wit, conversation, bubbling laughter ... and, yeah, there ain't no lyrics.
"English Life", a sybaritic idyll, seems like part of Downton Abbey, while the only cover, John and Beverley Martyn's "Auntie Aviator", is so brilliantly interpreted you forget the original: The Dames own this song. "Canyon" is the only remotely 'rock' song (ie it has a noticeable guitar) and while I could say yeah, there's the single, there's several other tunes here which should gain airplay; Eve, just this side of a dance track, or Dudley are particular favourites.
Get it here. - Robert Brokenmouth