Ned Collette & Wirewalker – 2
The second album from Ned Collette’s Wirewalker project, and the first since the Melbourne-born songwriter relocated to Berlin, subtly augments his brooding vocals and Spanish guitar with nostalgia-soaked 80s synths and drum programming. 2 is a record composed with spartan tools, centring around repetitive, lurching rhythms, that nonetheless betrays startling emotional depths. This is particularly true of the two centrepieces, The Decision and Long You Lie, which conjure a melancholy intensity reminiscent of The Blue Nile, both in tone and texture.
Elsewhere, Collette eschews the dramatic chord progressions of these songs for the insistent, bassy murk of tracks like Il Futuro Fantastico and The Hedonist, which instead recall the atmospheric gloom-folk of Gravenhurst. This ebb and flow between the record’s emotional crescendos is astutely paced, and 2 showcases a mature songwriter; one who maintains a quiet confidence in the cumulative impact of his austere, yet deceptively complex approach.