Dustin Tebbutt hit us hard with the release of The Breach EP two years ago, a breathtaking and sublime statement that resulted from a two year hibernation in Sweden. It perked a lot of ears and gave us a new scenet to follow, anticipating with baited breath as to when it would happen again. Well, it’s happening again. His new mini-album, Home, is about as strong an affirmation as you can get that the man is quickly coming into his own.
A mosaic crafted with experience of a well-travelled explorer and the intimacy of a lover, Dustin Tebbutt will knock you off your feet with his new EP Home.
A project that has been gestating in his mind for a time, the appropriately titled release emits the feeling of an artist returning home after a long period of exploration. It’s a motif that manifests itself from his conscious move back to his parents’ property in the rural New South Wales town of Armidale. We get the sense that wherever Tebbutt resides, he enjoys space, wilderness and the never-ending possibility that comes with it – something the music definitely explores for him. It’s not surprising that, upon learning Tebbutt wrote, recorded, produced and performed all songs at home, we connect to a theme of solitary meditation that all but bleeds from his work.
Wolves Are Waiting opens the fantasy like an impending lullaby, reminiscent of Bon Iver’s Lisbon, OH. Each note is audible in its own place as it swells to build a landscape strong enough for his acoustic guitar to ride across. By the time Tebbutt’s voice opens with the words that give the track its title, we are well and truly spellbound. The scope of the song alone could speak volumes for the album, sounding so delicate and fragile that you’ll unwittingly find yourself tip-toeing around the room in an attempt to not upset the tantalising matrimony.
Lead single and title track Home is almost cruel in its beauty, an example of what the symbiotic relationship of music and lyrics can really do. Beginning sparsely with voice and piano, it builds gradually and organically as strings, percussion samples and guitars each add their layer in the mix. Amazingly, each note and sound is clearly heard, as if each instrument is connected on a deeper level, complimenting the tone of each other as they has create this ethereal, warming glow. It’s when Tebbutt lays down lines like, “I’m here to keep the ghosts away / So lie down in my arms / ‘Cause we’re becoming home” that we realise we’re dealing with something and someone extremely special.
Home has seven tracks and to be bowled over in the first three marks a pretty intense listening experience. His collaboration with Thelma Plum on Silk is proof that Tebbutt is consciously choosing not to shy away from intensity in the intimacy. If you weren’t already sold and floating in the imagery, then you will be by the end of this track. It’s a lush production that compliments the two vocal styles by putting them front and centre, Plum’s especially, in a statement that says the voice is to become the music.
While we realise we might be on the verge of gushing, credit is given where credit is wholeheartedly due. The album navigates melody through a vast sonic landscape, careful not to compromise the fusion of notes, lest the picture become scrambled. Soaring is a word that comes to mind with the building strings of Life In The Middle, a grass-roots spirituality leaks from Harvest, a blind dedication works its way from the core of Plans and you almost hear a sense of closure radiate from Winter Sun. But most importantly what we get is confidence from an artist building on his experience, eschewing ego and fanfare in order to share intimacy with whoever wants to share theirs.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216989582″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]