Kate Miller-Heidke : Nightflight
Believe it or not, Nightflight is actually Kate Miller-Heidke’s first solo album in three years. The success of its predecessor, Curiouser, rippled so triumphantly for so long, it’s as if Miller-Heidke never withdrew from the limelight. Nevertheless, she’s back, presenting a satisfying return to form.
Buoyant opener Ride This Feeling offers an electrifying first impression, bristling with optimism. Sarah, by contrast, presents an anxious, on-edge narrative. Though a tad flamboyant and overblown in its execution, it is engrossing, successfully re-establishing Miller-Heidke as a formidable storyteller. The title-track emerges the record’s strongest inclusion however, Miller-Heidke’s poignant dissection of strenuous touring demands channeled through a dynamite melody. Of course, Miller-Heidke’s elastic, opera-esque delivery colours much of the record, her voice an enduring delight.
The first half of Nightflight is undoubtedly superior to the second, Miller-Heidke’s polished pop-sensibilities far more pronounced and memorable early on. Even the naff The Tiger Inside Will Eat The Child - a Dawson’s Creek soundtrack knock-off - proves pleasing and more potent than anything featured in Nightflight’s more subdued second half.
Nightflight feels both less brave and less commercially viable compared to its predecessors, a dubious distinction by anyone’s calculation. Normally that would be the death knell for any record, but Miller-Heidke nevertheless finds a way to make Nightflight pleasant listening. It might not be an essential record, but it is, without question, enjoyable.
BY NICK MASON
Best Track: Nightflight
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In A Word: Nice