Steve Warner – Steve Warner (reissue, Earth Records)

Another lovely reissue by Earth, this time from the Melbourne 1970s folk artist Steve Warner.

That name didn’t make much of a mark this side of the world at the time. However, this is an album that would sit comfortably alongside such classic singer songwriters as Harry Nilsson or Randy Newman.

Warner uses a variety of styles but the most successful one based on this album is the lush piano ballad.

The opener ‘Summer’ has a lovely winsome quality, the sweet piano arpeggios augmented by slightly kooky mellotron synth and a searching lyric with perfectly plaintive delivery.

‘Rainfall’ is an instrumental beauty with a bit of a prog rock feel – there’s even a film music style intro – plangent piano chords giving way to a descending guitar riff (soft distortion and all) and synth choir.

‘We’ll go on’ has a hint of that 70s crooner Peter Skellern, although deeper and a little stranger, plaintive and pleading with a magnificent, twisting chord sequence, not sure whether its tone should be major or minor.

Later ‘Momento’ would put you in mind of a piano bar, but a slightly melancholy one that could break through the sentiment at any moment with a little weirdness.

There's an intimate, hushed quality to the singing which draws you right into the world of these songs.

It’s the kind of album that grows on you. A real find, this one. Let's give thanks to Earth, again.


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