AU ABROAD

Album Review: Molly Contogeorge - Dames (2013 EP)

MOLLY CONTOGEORGE - DAMES

Forget Gosling; forget Julia Stone! In fact, forget everything you think you know about female singer songwriters. There’s a new lass on the block and her name is Molly Contogeorge.

Molly first grabbed my attention when I went along to see Stone Monks on a somewhat inconvenient, hung-over Sunday night. From memory it was rather wind swept, possibly raining, and if it wasn’t for my previous exposure to the prowess of the aforementioned monks I would have stayed in to watch SBS, drink Stout, and eat some variety of garlic infused roast animal. I’m not one for dismissing opening acts, so despite my apathy for leaving the cave, I made sure I was there on time. After a couple of dark ales I was still a little restless … and then the voice. It was gorgeous, surreal, sublime, the kind of tone that escapes even those adjectives. Not only that, but it was varied. There was a whisper when needed, a cabaret growl when appropriate, and all this laced around a base of incomparable articulation. It was a live show, but still, I could understand practically every word.

I’m a fan of Gosling, not so much Ms. Stone, although I can at times appreciate her work, but the slack jawed, infantile affectation during vocal delivery with which I associate both the aforementioned, but more so the latter, had grown somewhat thin. As someone who appreciates language in general, I consider the discarding of diction for aesthetic purposes has a very limited life span. If you’re not going to properly annunciate you may as well sing a made up gibberish, a la Dada. For a long time I had been searching for a more articulate songstress and once I heard Contogeorge, I knew the search was over.

This EP seems to deal with some serious issues, but does it in a playful and musically infectious way. The first track “Bang, Bang” appears to tell the story of a suicide after a break up, though it’s so upbeat that the lyrics initially faded into the background. Some serious groovy bass from the keyboard drive this song with some nice horn arrangements to compliment the energy. A lazy psychedelic inspired keyboard line follows this up in “Bad Boy”, a top little pop tune that may be the most worthy of radio play. Third track in, we have a sentimental lounge Jazz type piece “Brother”, which changes up the dynamic a little from the outright Pop featured earlier.

Written by Contogeorge’s mother, Catherine McSoriley, the song is a great change of pace and features some lovely work on the pianoforte. The title track “Dames”, finishes the release with some nice horn lines and a cabaret style vocal that showcases the singer’s range, particularly the low end. With its quirky lyrics I’m not quite sure what it’s about, though. A thorough effort, indeed!

Review Score 8.5 out of 10

The first two tracks are available for free download on Triple J Unearthed with further information about the new EP available on the Space Book page i.e. http://www.facebook.com/mollycontogeorgemusic