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It’s that time of year again…report writing. It’s like there’s this big wall in between what I should be doing, and what I’m actually doing. While I have started them, it seems only natural that I wind up here, writing posts instead and uploading photos off my camera and listening to wonderful music. To make sure that this is not a completely wasted effort, let me share some of the tunes that have been flooding my head this fine and rainy evening – the second bout of rain we’ve had in a week. Almost unheard of in these parts.

I have Speed Of Dark to thank for the discovery of this beautiful gem (I spelt that with a j when I first wrote it…anyone wanna sign their kids up for my advanced English class??) by Saint John and the Revelations. Saint John spent many years busking his way through Europe before an independent film maker heard his songs and offered to finance his first release Halo. Its success then led to the production of his latest album Mercy, and is beautifully described in a captivating track-by-track summary over at Speed Of Dark.

Title track ‘Mercy’ is absolutely beautiful, a quiet yet powerful plea that is delivered with tight control before building with intensity towards the end. Acoustic guitar and drums are the only accompaniment to Saint John’s clear and soulful vocals. Highly recommended.

Mercy – Saint John and the Revelations

Sydney Wayser is a folk singer from New York with an angelic voice and can pen a lovely tune. ‘Carousel’ is especially addictive. Cute piano melody, beautiful cello and little carnival tempo changes throughout. ‘Papa Don’t Worry’ kicks off with some muted harmonica as Papa is assured that his little girl has it all under control. Candles lit, water’s running…Papa stop pacing, I’ll be fine. I really love the almost gospel-sounding backup choir at the end of this track as well.

Carousel – Sydney Wayser

Papa Don’t Worry – Sydney Wayser

I’ve also been on a bit of a Ben Lee kick again lately too. I was actually going to see him in August, but there was the small problem of his gig being on the same night as Sigur Ros. Sorry Ben, sadly it was no contest.

‘Begin’ has always been a favourite track, there’s something about that non-stop bass line and the timely piano inclusions and the lyrics.

While you wonder ‘how’s this gonna end?’
I only wanted to begin
And while it’s true that all straight things must bend
I only wanted to begin

And while I kinda cringe at the actual concept of ‘We’re All In This Together’, I still find myself grinning like a loon and singing along despite myself.

I know you think about jumping ship before it sinks
But we are all in this together
Ask a scientist
It’s quantum physics
We are all in this together

I can’t help but love the group sing-a-long at the end too. It literally sounds like he’s just gathered a whole heap of his mates around a barbie and asked them to chime in at the appropriate moments.

Begin – Ben Lee

We’re All In This Together – Ben Lee

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