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When you hear the name Skipping Girl Vinegar you may not think of the Melburnian indie folk five piece who have been making gentle waves in the Aussie music scene since 05. If lusty harmonies, the slight shake of a tambourine and the sound of acoustic guitars get your blood flowin’ then their latest record, the aptly titled The Great Wave is sure to lay you down, strip you bare and seduce your mind (although things do get a little rough in parts).
Melbourne five piece folksters Skipping Girl Vinegar overcome great personal obstacles to deliver an evocative and fun sophomore album with The Great Wave.
Following the release of their highly acclaimed LP Keep Calm Carry The Monkey in 2011, the band took a brief hiatus due to a severe illness hitting front man Mark Lang’s wife, leaving many fans to question not only the future of the band but the possibility of a follow-up record. Yet the anxious wait is finally over, and all their questions have been answered, as The Great Wave makes it clear that the wait was well worth it.
The LP was recorded along the Victorian coast in an array of sheds and village halls, with the help of none other than US producer Brad Jones and is a true exhibition of how the universe intended musicianship to be, resolute. Where each person’s talent is complemented subtly by the next, resonating wholeheartedly with the audience. Although, alike any great work of art, the record is eclectic and flawed, and with its ups and downs, it’s clear that a selection of the tracks have been thought over intently with perfection in mind, which can see the LP come crashing down, yet also be its saving grace.
Refugee is a highlight, featuring a bunch of tambourines that strikes right through to the core of the listener, a quick beat that is enough to get any ol’ feet tapping, guitars that unravel the delicate vocal harmonies and lyrics that make you literally want to run for your life; “We were running, running, into the night“.
Despite Refugee hitting all the right spots, the unparalleled standout is anthemic West Coast. Featuring a deep, dark undertone that slithers through your mind softly like a snake and robust vox that erupts lightly within the atmosphere the record builds around you, it’s clear that this is a powerful number. And you’ll be left hankering for more as you find yourself singing the deliberately catchy lyrics “Get in the car and let’s go” long after the tracks finished.
Things come to a minor halt with Punch This Heart of Mine. The track is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re a fan of the Christmas season, chances are you’ll think it’s pretty snazzy. The number is extremely remindful of a Christmas carol due to the festive and somewhat clichéd melody. However, it is salvaged greatly by the hopeful lyrics, alluring piano riff and all round positive aura that enshrouds it “We were lost, lost, lost, till we found each other. You and I, long, lost love…”
The Great Wave is like a strange masterpiece, taking the good and bad in its stride and ultimately succeeding in being an ultra absorbing, evocative slice of music. Proving that these five Melbourne folksters won’t be knocked down by illness, a hiatus, and anxious fans.
Y’all can catch the band on the 2nd of May at the Arts Centre Melbourne for their official album launch.
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