Grace Cummings — Refuge Cove (Nov. 1, 2019)
• Cummings popisuje album jako „sbírku myšlenek odnikud, umístěných ve stromech, na obloze a na slunci.“
• Australian folk singer~songwriter from Melbourne with a powerful voice and a vintage, early~'60s~inspired tone. Cummings describes the album as “a collection of thoughts from nowhere, placed in the trees, in the sky and sun.”
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Album release: November 1, 2019
Record Label: Frightless Records
1 The Look You Gave 3:55
2 Other Side 2:20
3 Lullaby for Refuge Cover 3:02
4 Sleep 4:16
5 Lullaby for Buddy 4:01
6 There Flies a Seagull 3:42
7 Paisley 4:11
8 Just Like That 1:08
9 In the Wind 3:53
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger; Score: ****
• A young folk artist with a commanding, rough~hewn voice and forthright approach, Australian singer/songwriter Grace Cummings makes her auspicious debut with Refuge Cove. Bearing a classic tone that recalls the ’60s folk revival infused with some of rock’s raw power, Cummings began making the rounds in her native Melbourne in 2018, quickly building a buzz that was intensified after an online video of her covering Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” led to a contract with Flightless Records, the label spearheaded by local psych faves King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. Rather than mess with a winning formula, the label wisely chose to capture their new signee in her natural format, recording live in a room with just an acoustic guitar and her throaty, dominating voice bouncing off the walls. What minor piano and guitar overdubs there are always serve the basic composition of the songs. Alternating between earthy poeticism and honest observations, Cummings tries to make sense of both her inner and outer worlds, drawing the audience in with an intimacy that doesn’t suffer from the usual self~conscious pitfalls of confessionalism.
• Undertones of classic British folk resound through the windswept meditations on “Lullaby for Refuge Cove,” one of several standouts. Another highlight, “Paisley,” ruminates on the Scottish city of its namesake with a series of poignant verses that end uniquely in heavy sighs. On the plaintive “Sleep,” she questions her own motives and foibles with an appealing candor, singing “I’m not sure I should be doing this, if this is anything at all,” then later name drops Big Star co~founder Chris Bell and actress Meryl Streep.
• There’s a sort of coarse beauty in the way that Cummings wields her distinctive voice, sounding almost blunt at times in a way that lends an eerie gravitas to the delicacy of many of her lyrics. There’s also a welcome sense of immediacy in her work, like she’s still in the process of figuring out how to properly use her tools while somehow sounding wise beyond her years. That freshness really comes out in Refuge Cove’s austere nature and makes for a powerful debut. • https://www.allmusic.com/
Young love, punk and politics create the perfect buzz
By Cameron Woodhead, July 25, 2018 — 12.58pm
Marcel Dorney, Elbow Room Theatre
Meat Market Stables, North Melbourne, Until July 28
↵ Elbow Room’s Prehistoric rocks off to the Edinburgh Festival next week, and if you wanted to spruik the brilliance and vitality of our indie theatre scene overseas, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example.
↵ Marcel Dorney’s punk theatre takes us to Brisbane in the late 1970s. It was the dark ages in Queensland. Sir Joh Bjelke~Petersen ran the state like a personal fiefdom and, as the Fitzgerald Inquiry revealed a decade later, police brutality and corruption were rife.
↵ Four young people start a band at a time when political repression (freedom of assembly is radically curtailed, and police regularly and violently break up gigs) has breathed fire into the rebellious spirit of punk.
↵ Lead singer Rachel (Grace Cummings) is an anthropology major who might just be striking a pose. On guitar is Deb (Brigid Gallacher), a science geek outraged by the sexism she encounters, and Nick (Sahil Saluja), who might be gay but is still working it out. Loveable wild child Pete (Zachary Pidd) smashes it up on drums.
↵ “The stirring, funny and poignant script shares the storytelling between performers.”
↵ Dorney’s stirring, funny and poignant script shares the storytelling between performers, setting up a frame of light nostalgia and nimbly switching between narration and enactment. This is political theatre with some dark themes, yes, but it’s also a sharply observed love story about the bonds forged in misspent youth.
↵ The performances are all affectionately detailed, touching and true. Saluja and Cummings bring to life the delicate experience of sexuality against the stark homophobia of the time (Saluja’s self~deprecating comedy is a delight; Cummings achieves a complex balance of sympathy that captures the distance of privilege, dissolved for a time in loud music).
↵ Pidd reveals a heart of gold under the blokiness and bottled anger, a tenderness that makes his fate more savagely felt. He’s also a dynamo onstage, especially during the live punk songs. And Gallacher rounds out the foursome with irrepressible spunk behind an ironic smile.
“Dramatic writing and direction this vivid and clever is rare.”
↵ Dramatic writing and direction this vivid and clever is rare, and the performances capitalise to perfection. Blending high~octane music and protest theatre, buddy story and intricate emotion, Prehistoric will leave you buzzing. ↵ https://www.smh.com.au/