Penny Hewson : It's An Endless Desire
On the inside cover of her new album, It’s An Endless Desire, Penny Hewson states “This is the album I always wanted to make.” And it’s immediately apparent that this is an immensely personal record. Hewson shoulders the entire songwriting burden, and the bulk of the recording input (vocals, piano, viola, guitar and organ); each track drips with sincerity, empathy and the occasional moment of pathos.
In the wrong hands, a song like This One’s For You could degenerate into soppy territory; in Hewson’s careful grasp, it’s a romantic tribute of Carole King quality. My Lover’s Touch is lush and haunting, Salty Sea a tranquil journey that glistens like the afternoon Pacific sun. Settle For Less has shades of Louis Tillet’s intensity, My Apology a rare magisterial beauty. Most Of All conveys a subtle pop sensibility; Thanksgiving flips through the dog-eared pages of personal history with a sentimentality social media will never understand. No Regrets opens up with the spark of The Whippersnappers, You And Me retreats to the corner with only a piano to disguise the emotional pain. A Heart That Won’t Heal is where Frente could have gone with the right marketing direction, Between The Lines is almost too nice to describe and the six-minute finale of Higher drifts into the ether like cherished memories lost to the passage of time.
Penny Hewson apparently returned from ten years in Los Angeles and wrote this album in an apartment in Sydney. That’s not surprising – you couldn’t write a record like It’s An Endless Desire in LA. The place is too superficial.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: This One's For You
If You Like These, You'll Like This: NICO, KATE BUSH, THE KILLJOYS
In A Word: Lush