Young Werther – Knights Of The Department Store (Popboomerang Records/MGM)
I first heard Young Werther 3 years ago one Sunday evening at the edinburgh castle who was playing gig with Lydia Phillips who I know and have booked shows with. I was really impressed with how he performed and songs just really jelled together. 3 years later he has released his debut album Knights Of The Department Store and he shows why on this album that why he is one of the best male singer songwriters on the Melbourne music scene at the moment. The album is light years ahead of anything else I’ve heard from a male singer songwriter at the moment. It starts off with Around The World, a really Don McGlashan /Mutton Birds type song with lovely backing vocals by Georgia Fields. For starters the album is a lot different to the EP it’s more raw and edgier and a bit more fast paced and lively. In ways he reminds me a lot of Don McGlashan and how they can both write just incredible powerful passionate songs that really do draw you in. Songs like A Week In Hell how it’s structured and sung really proves that immediateness. I Don’t Wanna Go To The Circus is a dark moody ballady anthem that shows off his songwriting skills. No One In Their Right Mind is why I dug his music in the first place, really catchy upbeat melodic solid tune. Break The News is a simple dark ballad that let’s Young Werther show of how he can write tunes, write interesting lyrics and let the listener be drawn into his word. Songs like A Man Dressed In Lightning is one of those songs that lingers after you listen, it’s the longest song on the album and captures his way with instruments and the use of them and how the band works together. The Great Outdoors is a great track, a song I could see community radio playing as with Around The World. This is a great album, I liked a lot, he is a fine singer songwriter and talent like his will not be unoticed because good songwriting stands the test of time.
Mark Wagner – Sun’s Gonna Rise (Otis Alan Records)
A good song writer doesn’t need gimmicks or tricks to sell his music, his music will just really will speak for itself. Mark Wagner is one of those songwriters, just a guy with good songs and a great voice. His latest album Sun’s Gonna Rise just shows that.These songs are just good laid back chilled pop rock tunes and they are all seriously winners. From the upbeat opening track There’s A Mountain with it’s hints of The Wallflowers to the moving track With You capture the diversity and vocals skills of Mark alongside his incredible talent as a songwriter. Walk Along Beside You is a song that deserves radio play, such a good catchy easy going track that screams radio play. Part proper R&B,soul and a bit rock pop makes it a song that will get you singing along. Sweet Summertime is a good soul/R&B track that laid back and cruisy. Good use of a female singer on the track. Songs like Love You Today, A New, Something To Believe In shows off that Mark can write and sing both upbeat tracks and also ballads into the mix. Let It Move You is funky upbeat groovying number that makes you wanna get up and dance. It finishes off with the winning number There Is hope another great ballad track. Mark gotta great voice and good tunes to back him up. His talent as a songwriter is incredible, he can write tunes that stand the test of time. Mark a talent surely to go places and if you haven’t picked this up yet, do so. A good album that can be played at any time.