With a new album due out in 2017, Australian music songstress and blissful country songwriter, Kasey Chambers, has dropped a tight four track EP titled Ain’t No Little Girl. It’s a well-thought sampler of hand plucked Aussie country jams, even featuring a track with Keith Urban. The EP covers many different moods in its short time, doing well to encapsulate feelings of modernism with a classic country appeal.
The title track, Ain’t No Little Girl, has her exploring the shallow waters of a slow-motion western infused blues vein, deeply tickling various similarities comparable to Portishead, Lera Lynn or even as far as Nick Cave. Produced by Paul Kelly, it holds a bold fluttering guitar echo and an ominous organ as they fly around Chambers’ matured and intoxicating vocals. She dances with her wailing additions, provoking raw instrument communication from guitar distortion and clattering cymbal activity – an intrepid statement of where her creative mind is currently planted.
Moving into duet territory is the Keith Urban collaboration; If We Had A Child. Expertly spilling planes of silky country infusion, this jointed connection prevails as one of the more resolute and solemn directions heard from Chambers. It’s lightly compacted with sentimentality and pure, soulful country definition. Only Child is a Blue-Grass diamond in the rough, moving against over-produced roots, instead devoting the sound to a fibrous and course movement through genuine rural emotion that’s been washed in country-field music. This is miles away from the feelings in Talkin’ Baby Blues, which is an acoustically explicit life story, speedily rumbled through by Chambers’ semi-spoken word and half-sung efforts. There’s a smiling radiance that pokes out from the witty lyrics and cheeky delivery – demonstrating that she can switch from floundering in sorrow-blues to frolicking next to a fireplace with some upbeat light-hearted folk music.
Generally, the EP is a golden nugget of outback goodness proving to be that of essential 2016 listening. It showcases Kasey’s confident musical headspace of today while maintaining a thorough country music backbone. With another album out next year, there’s a relaxed comfort knowing it can only be more of what’s available in this variety of eased melodies.