In Another Life
Reviewed by Steve Harris on 24 October 2012
Rated 7 out of 10
Key Track: Scared Man Smile
Catherine Traicos’ new record is likeable. More than likeable, in fact, it’s decidedly charming.
Likewise, the Sydney-based songwriter has been her charming self for a number of records now and will likely continue to be charming for some more to come.
In Another Life, her fourth full-length album, sees Traicos eschew the full band and ARIA award-winning producer of her previous record in favour of a more stripped back and organic approach.
To this end, Traicos has roped in Two Bright Lakes impresario Nick Huggins to produce, with the two of them shouldering the bulk of the instrumentation to great result.
Huggins’ influence is not immediately conspicuous from the album’s opener and title track, but rather ebbs and flows throughout the record, at its peaks incorporating found percussive elements and sparse melodic principle reminiscent of his own Five Lights LP.
It’s these arrangements that underpin the album’s more delineative moments. Songs such as ‘Scared Man Smile’, ‘Hide Me’ and ‘Lost On The Sea’ show conspicuous attention to detail, opening up in stark honesty for Traicos’ cider-sweet voice to carry her pensive and heartfelt lyricism.
Indeed it is Traicos’ voice, which – like her previous efforts – offers such distinctive charm and draws frequent (and seemingly obligatory) comparisons to all manner of alt-country and folk trobairitz.
Simultaneously richly buoyant and world weary, this collection of songs reveals more at every twist and turn, and will undoubtedly reward the listener more with each spin.
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