Sans Chateaux – Aspendale
Sublime chamber folk offering from Austin Patrick who is of this universe – sometimes Cork, sometimes Melbourne, sometimes Canada – but projects a distinctly otherworldly aura.
There’s a delicate featherlight quality to these songs that would remind you of Fredo Viola, although the addition of cello on most songs gives an interesting extra emotional tug and weight to the arrangements.
Patrick’s voice is the key, a thing of high register beauty with a honey tone on the edge of falsetto, which although it may not be to everyone’s taste absolutely rocks my world.
Gentle fingerpicked guitar and here and there simple piano chords round out the picture.
Highlights include the title track opener with added lush ambience, the rhythmic lilt with stacked harmonies of ‘Fiction can be heavy’ and the Beach Boys vocal gorgeousness of ‘On distance’.
The mood is primarily downtempo although fascinatingly breezy west coast US things happen on ‘Stuff unknown’ when a tambourine joins in and the cello switches from long bowing to heavy staccato.
But it is a sound of joy and wonder and deserves to be sung along to by crowds with their hands in the air (perhaps sitting down but that’s up to yourself).
Transcendant really is the word.