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MUSIC Album reviews with Ian Sinclair: August 9, 2020

Latest releases from Mike Polizze, Bananagun and Kathleen Edwards

Mike Polizze
Long Lost Solace Find
(Paradise of Bachelors)
★★★★

THE FRONTMAN of Philadelphia experimental indie-rock group Purling Hiss, Mike Polizze was encouraged to perform unaccompanied by his friends at the Paradise of Bachelors label.
 
Long Lost Solace Find is the outcome and it’s an assured, largely acoustic solo debut recorded slowly over the course of a year with help from his longtime friend Kurt Vile.

This is the key bit of context — the album’s stoned summer ambience echoes the sound of Vile on records like 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo. In fact, the mood is so laid-back it’s virtually horizontal.

And, like Vile, the songs and melodies are consistently brilliant, from the instrumental D Modal to the trumpet-assisted single Revelation.

The title of opener Bainmarie — which Polizze sweetly repeats in the song’s chorus —  is a nod to tough jobs he has previously done.

Outstanding.

Bananagun
The True Story Of Bananagun
(Full Time Hobby)
★★★★

GROWING out of the bedroom recordings of Nick Van Bakel, the debut album of Melbourne five-piece Bananagun is bursting with positive energy and musical ideas.

While their origins, inventiveness and influences bring to mind fellow Aussie band Tame Impala — check out the breezy tropicalia of Out Of Reach — van Bakel’s outfit sounds like they are having a lot more fun.

The fuzzed-up funk of The Master and lengthy Fela Kuti-style jams on People Talk Too Much are particular highlights in a set that harks back to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

There is a lot going on, from late-Beatles-sounding stoned vocals to the danceable rhythms and exuberant musicianship on saxophone, flute and djembe, while the instrumental Bird Up! splices together the calls of Kookaburras and parrots.

Music to get the party started.

Kathleen Edwards
Total Freedom
(Dualtone Records)
★★★★

HAVING struck gold with her 2003 debut Failer, after the release of her 2012 Voyageur album Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards took a break from music and opened a coffee shop named Quitters in her hometown of Ottawa.

Total Freedom is a brilliant return to form that will please fans who have missed having her brand of introspective melodic rock around.

Perhaps unusually for a pop song, mid-tempo opener Glenfern gives thanks for the good times of her now-ended marriage, while other songs cover mortality (Ashes to Ashes), lifelong friendships (Simple Math), the death of her dog (Who Rescued Who) and the freedom of being unattached (the delicate Birds On A Feeder).

Full of heartfelt and emotional ruminations, this is music for road trips, to wallow in, to recharge your batteries to and to lean on like a close friend.

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