These are subtle re-workings of material that are rooted in the past, but in a most pleasant way, rather than a faded memory trying to relive past glories in an ordinary way.

Ever reflected on the days listening to 2SM whilst Mum was hanging out the washing? Even to young developing ears, the mundanity of the likes of Air Supply or Leo Sayer could be broken by the spiralling sounds of ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’or ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’. Now, the man behind these tunes crashes through the decades to reclaim his place at the front of the riverboat besotted Americana pile.

Listening to these songs is a guilty pleasure, and should remain a secret, if not for the fact that the songs are resolutely attractive.‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’is a resounding tale of fated masochism that can rip apart the listener. Similarly, ‘Galveston’ deals with vexed relationships, but from the polar opposite. Here the protagonist is not seeking to run away from responsibility but is determined to retain the desperate resolve over the imposed distance.

‘Hey Little One’continues the theme so entrenched in country music, beguiling relationships and distance. And again on ‘Postcard From Paris’. ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ is the pinnacle, the song which Johnny Cash forgot to write. Drenched in reverb, you know you join the writer on the rocky road to superstardom with resolve in spades. “And l dream of the things I’ll do / With a subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe / There’ll be a load of compromising on the road to my horizon / But l’m going to be where the lights are shining on me.” Cheers to that.

3.5/5 stars


See You There is out now through Inertia.

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