Angie has another album on the way in Free Agent. For a very short period (like, a couple of days) I thought it might have been a Sonic Masala release, but Rice Is Nice have done us the pleasure of putting out this incredible record. This isn't as scabrous as her first solo record Turning, but is a great addition to what is an ever-intriguing musical voice in the Australian music undergrowth.
It starts out in a maudlin space on 'Breathing In Blue', Angie's haunting vocals echoing over the crashing of waves and plaintive keys. 'Crocodile Tears' takes us into a chugging rhythm, a garage nosedive haunting the twilight backwaters. (Angie might kill me here, but when the pace slows here, I feel the spectre of Hole's 'Doll Parts' in delivery and atmosphere - but for me it's an inimitably good thing, especially when given the scuffed up and forlorn treatment as it is here). 'Down For The Count' has even more grit in its teeth, a slackjawed swagger and sway, a rock tune that is rough in production and delivery. Things get more 70s glam punk on 'Out Of Age', with a tinny production that sounds both cavernous and transistor radio, and it slays. 'Paris Face' has a lilt in its rollicking throwback rock that reminds me of Veronica Falls at their most avuncular. 'Ricky Street' shuffles along with a more world-weary bent, and the guitar solo holds that burden like Neil Young at his most rustically rambunctious. In some ways mirroring the opener, 'The Bell Rings True' is Angie and keys, but this time a little more avant-pop, the keys following Angie's lilts and swoons, a plaintive accompaniment, and an effectively stark closer.
You can hear the aural fingerprints of Straight Arrows bandmate Owen Penglis in the conception of Free Agent, yet this is definitely Angie's beast, one we should all be celebrating. It comes out via Rice Is Nice and friend Nathan Roche's Glenlivet A Gogh Records next month - cannae wait (pre-order it here).