Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Hello Again, Summer Flake
Steph Crase continues to bewitch and beguile as Summer Flake on her new album, Hello Friends. Here she is aided and abetted by friends (fellow Batrider Sarah Mary Chadwick features on the album, alongside bandmates Joel Carey (Peak Twins) and Antony Bourmas (Antony Of The Future)), but the end product is solely her, her wistful, languid take on bluesy shadow-tinged pop inflected with her glorious vocals and guitar riffs. From the noir lurk of 'Shoot and Score' that crashes into sonorous languor in 'So Long' to the 90s indie throwback fuzz of 'Wine Won't Wash Away', this album is littered with shimmering gems of soaring inflection and sundrunk daydreams of half-chances, wishes and regrets. Even when taking the acoustic route, like on the sparse haunt of 'Tumbling Down', Crase holds you in thrall. Her vocals offer harmonies that pierce the heart, regardless of their notes of chagrin, weary acceptance or steely resolve. The warmer production here augments her growing confidence in her songcraft and existence at the front of the stage. You probably don't need to hear this from me - bloody Henry Rollins is vocally on board for Chrissakes! - but take it from me, this is a fantastic record. Australia is blessed with some truly stunning and idiosyncratic singer/songwriters - and Hello Friends is proof that Summer Flake is the cream of the crop. Pre-order the album here in lipstick-smeared red vinyl through Rice Is Nice - it is a beauty in every sense.