If pushed to name one of our favourite live shows of 2022 so far then certainly near the very top would be the night spent with Australian duo Charm Of Finches. They are coming to the tail end of a mammoth UK & European tour and as a parting gesture they are leaving us with a marvellous little acoustic EP "Bluest Colour"
Two of the songs are reworkings of the songs that appeared on their album "Wonderful Oblivion"with the third being "River" the song released as they commenced the tour.
"Treading Water" rakes over the embers of a past relationship, the title laying bare the fact that this was never destined to be a long term thing. It encapsulates everything that is wonderful about Ivy and Mabel WIndred-Wornes. First there is the gentle acoustic intro punctured by a violin being plucked, then there is the opening few lines, where the location is precisely detailed along with the sheer joy commensurate with the early part of a relationship, as the seeking of common ground is delightfully played out.
"We walked from Footscray all the way to Seaholme And we talked about what we did when we were kids We asked each other stupid questions, talked about the silly things If only it could always be like this"
The chorus however lays out that for all the fun being had, this is not serious on either part
"We both knew we were just treading water
Eventually drowned each other"
Yet that is not to say it was not heartfelt at the time ,the events and feelings are beautifully articulated and all those extra layers of details go to make this a truly captivating listen
"Concentrate On Breathing" starts as an ethereal swirling of vocals before being joined by twin vocals seemingly played backwards to make a chant that eerily hints that you should be able to make it out, yet the words remain elusive.
The song truly begins with the vocals intense in the mix, with just an acoustic guitar in the background. Come the chorus there is only an occasional hit of a tambourine and a smattering of percussion to play beneth the great sibling harmonies.
There are hints of an unsettled night as if waking from a disturbed dream or stress induced worry
"When the dark recoils and the morning invites us in Crawling and unfurling, let the sunlight soak through our skin Wash away the night that has been"
The chorus suggest meditation as the reassuring way forward, the route to calmness and serenity.
"Ooh, try to concentrate on breathing and let your thoughts fall like water to the floor
When you put a name to what you're seeing, know that it's all just the trick of the light"
It makes for a hypnotic four minutes from the wondrous soundscape through to the powerful imagery used.
The final track of the EP is the Joni Mitchell perenial Christmas classic "River" though it turns out that it was not particularly the Christmas lines of the song that caught the attention of Charm Of Finches as much as the lines
"I wish I had a river so long, I would teach my feet to fly"
After a slightly unsettling open 10 seconds of intro, ( unsettling as I can't quite put my finger on what instrument is making it ) Charm Of Finches version is a straight acoustic affair with a couple of acoustic guitars and wonderful harmonies especally as they linger over the "feet to fly" words.
There are still a few chances left to catch this marvelous duo and see if it makes it near the top of your 2022 live shows.