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The Grapes : Western Sun

Naylor and Rich’s innate and extremely natural ability to weave rich melody that engages and enraptures even the most unsuspecting listener ensures that such spellbinding performances stick in the mind.

 

Rich has traversed many interesting musical pathways including joyfully glamorous garage-fuelled hard rock (Girl Monstar) and admirably authentic stripped-back country (The Rich Family), while Naylor’s axe-wielding dexterity and encyclopaedic knowledge of rock has seen him kick out the jams in Even as well as acting as a trusted musical collaborator with luminaries such as Stephen Cummings and Paul Kelly. Together as The Grapes, Naylor and Rich have created some truly beautiful music that nods to the past whilst sounding crisp and fresh.

 

Their debut album back in 1999 was so deliciously hook-laden that it was tempting to play it non-stop. It comes as no surprise then that Western Sun is jam-packed with melody and ripe for replaying. The mood seems warm and the vibe summery as The Grapes embrace the type of powerpop that Badfinger would have been proud of (Step Inside), sweet indie pop that conjures fond memories of the much-missed Ice Cream Hands (Lily Darling) and moving psych-tinged country (In The Night Pasture). One of the many highlights of this fine album is Ride On Lonely which seems to channel Nancy Sinatra’s best work with that celebrated moustache-sporting tripper Lee Hazlewood. Rich’s vocals are perfectly suited to the haunting dessert-sun guitar that burns throughout the song and it is easy to imagine this dramatic track playing as the credits roll on some widescreen cinematic masterpiece.

 

BY GRAHAM BLACKLEY

 

Best Track: Ride On Lonely

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