What I’m Listening To: Patrick Wolf, Josh Pyke, The Panics

By Simon Chisholm

Lupercalia – Patrick Wolflupercalia cover

I pre-ordered this CD on a whim. The single ‘House’ popped up on YouTube one day and I just went with it. What roped me in? Listen to the way he pronounces ‘conkers’, English accents get me every time.

This is a CD made up of such ridiculous pop music it may be carcinogenic. It is happy, upbeat and exciting right from the first measure. The instrumentation is made up of sampled sounds, real instrumentation, and sounds processed into oblivion. Instrumentation includes the typical pop line-up of piano, strings, bass and vocal layering. The harmonic change is dramatic and moving. The sounds tend to become more organic as the album progresses.

The vocal performance is strong. Wolf’s voice is deep and throaty and he executes with amazing diction.

Apart from the single ‘House’, highlights include the arrangement in ‘Armistice’, and the second half of ‘Time Of My Life’.

 Produced By Patrick Wolf. Released in 2011 by Mercury Records.

Josh Pyke – Only Sparrows

only sparrows coverI invested in this release based on countless columns in free music magazines.

This album blew me away after the first listen. For some reason I had been overcome with a sense of peace, happiness and satisfaction. I was relaxed and excited at the same time.

This is the first time I’ve listened to Josh Pyke and I must say I was very impressed.

Pyke makes use of loops to build a groove and a backbeat, and then layers his folky acoustic guitar and sweet crooning voice over the top.

The story behind the creation of this album is that Josh went to New York to write and record as he wasn’t finding inspiration at home in Australia. This search and story really comes through in the poetry of the songs. There is a real sense of melancholy and hopelessness, forming into a feeling of frustration and finally starting to find a calling. These ideas come across both in the lyrics and the soundscapes created by the instrumentation.

Highlights include the single ‘No One Wants A Lover’, but you must give the whole thing a listen start to finish. It really is a good listen.

Oh and the CD case has rounded corners. 

Produced By Josh Pyke and Wayne Connolly. Released in 2011 by Ivy League Records.

The Panics – Rain On The Humming Wire

rain on the humming wire coverThis is an easy to listen to rock album.

The raspy vocal delivers catchy, smoothly flowing melodies with seemingly effortless execution. Each line ends with a perfect cadence. The album’s lyrics revolve around story telling, aided by the movement of the accompaniment.

The instrumentation mostly acts as a backbeat playing the feel and groove of the track. The harmonic change is distinct and is defined by the bass guitar staying true to the tonic note of the chord.

The highlight of the record is the single ‘Majesty’ and ‘Endless Road’.

The Panics are:

Jae Laffer – Vocals, Piano, Guitar

Drew Wootton – Guitar

Paul Otway – Bass

Myles Wootton – Drums

Jules Duoglas – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar.

Produced By The Panics and John O’Mahony. Released in 2007 by Drew Process.