Friday, 8 October 2010

Affecting albums - Calenture - The Triffids

(Click on the links in the song titles to be taken to Spotify for a listen)

The Triffids were one of the great Australian bands of the 80s. Like many bands from Down Under in that period, they almost, but not quite, made it to the big time. Again, like many of those bands, several songs they recorded have gone on to be Pop/Rock classics, but never hit the top of the charts at the time they were released. The tragic loss of lead singer David McComb at the early age of 37, ten years after the band's demise, means that we can no longer have a live experience of his magic as a singer and songwriter.

Calenture was The Triffid's fourth album in what was a prolific recording period for the band (three albums released in two years), and as it turned out was their penultimate recording. Somewhat of a departure from their previous sound, Calenture is full of lush orchestration, which suits not only the deep voice of McComb, but the sweeping lyrics of the tunes.

The two songs from the album that made an impact at the time are Bury me deep in love, which is a classic lush pop song, with strings and vocal harmonies lifting the chorus from the slightly plaintive verses. A real sing in the shower song, for mine. The other tune that made an impact was A trick of the light. While more lush than earlier work, this tune is much more like earlier Triffid's work such as Wide open road - sparse, evocative, with lyrics of lost love and what might have been. Again, the chorus is one you will whistle all day long.

The rest of the album is quite mixed musically - from the the simple bluesy Hometown farewell kiss, the stark and brooding Unmade love, and the just quirky Jerdacuttup man, a song about a body preserved in a peat bog for thousands of years.....

Calenture is one of those albums that you play on a spring Sunday afternoon and realise that the world is a beautiful place, even when sad things happen.

Calenture is available on iTunes, or Amazon


Cheers for now, from
A View Over the Bell

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