Some artists are so extraordinarily talented you have to wonder why they are so underrated. Small Town Misfits is hopefully the record that will propel Sydney’s Jenny Queen into the big leagues of folk/country alongside the likes of Lucinda Williams and Kasey Chambers.

Queen’s third album offers a mix of excitement and awe while at times it sneaks up and slaps you so hard it comes as a shock. While there’s an instant nostalgia that comes along for the ride, Queen explores many untapped areas lyrically and musically. Shane Nicholson’s production is impeccable, but how could he deliver anything short of superb when Queen’s songs are so magical? They encompass the strength and fragility of Jewel married with the darkness of Ryan Adams and the angst of Bob Dylan.

 

Standout tracks include ‘Dead Man’s Hand’; ‘Mother’s Son’; the twists and turns of the album’s opener, ‘Blood Meridian’ and ‘Austin’ – an impressive duet with the equally sublime Brooke McClymont. 

 

Small Town Misfits is a smart yet classy release which places Queen front and centre of an elite group of artists in this particular field.

 

4/5.

Small Town Misfits is out now through ABC / Universal.

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