Album Review: The Waifs – Ironbark (2017 LP)

To celebrate 25 years in the business, The Waifs have delivered their glorious eighth LP, Ironbark. They asked their fans what they wanted, and delivered a stunningly created 25 song album. All tracks were recorded at the Karl Marx beared guitarist, Josh Cunningham‘s quaint bushland house in rugged Moruya in New South Wales.

Still very professional, just minus the tinge of hostility and cleanliness of a studio, and swapped for the cool casual breeze, crickets and Eastern Yellow Robins.
Ironbark captures what The Waifs are known for, folk rock tunes filled with stunning acoustic guitar sounds and vibey drums, similar to the likes of Gillian Welsh and The Civil Wars; add little jingles of harmonica and fluttery sibling harmonies and you have a ripper of an LP.

The first two tracks were exactly what I expected from these three, the classic folky beats that everyone loves. “Not So Lonely” showed their more upbeat, ballad side, much like other older, popular tracks such as “Love Serenade”  and “London Still”.

With such a large LP, there was more than one song that will hit home for any listener. “Goodnight Lil’ Cowboy” and “The Shack” both feel like they are taken straight from my childhood memories reminiscing on Australian life in the bush, however you were bought up, there is , something for you in this LP, even a sorrowful song titled “Syria”, which reflects on a father’s experience in war in Syria, and his haste to escape with his family.

Throughout the progression of the album, there is no lack of interest while winding through all 25 songs, they all keep you on your toes, and bring forward so much emotion and energy. You can hear the growth and the development that the three have endeavoured over the past 25 years. The Waifs have seriously nailed it.

Buy this album, stream it even. Whatever you prefer, or whatever point in your life you are at in the present moment, play it. It is hard not to fall in love with it.

Review Score: 9.0 out of 10. 

Ironbark is out now.


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