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Oliver Swain's Big Machine - Never More Together (Self Release)

Star rating: 
3

Cutting his musical teeth with such bands as Outlaw Social, The Duhks and The Bills, the Victoria BC-based bassist and banjo player creates his own individual musical soundscape with eight new original songs on this follow up to his 2011 solo debut IN A BIG MACHINE. Taking that title along with most of the musicians who appeared on the debut, Swain and Co expand further upon this musical adventure, exploring their acoustic roots with a keen eye on the detail. At times whimsical, such as the surprising Maggie, Molly and Raul, which could be an outtake from the White Album, the songs weave an adventurous path, all of which keeps the listener attentive. If No Strange Thing, the only co-write on the album (with Ridley Bent) and featuring a vocal duet with Emily Braden, shows a soulful side of Swain's character, then Take Me Up, the album's closer, alludes more to an ambient Classical yearning. If the music on NEVER MORE TOGETHER should require a visual aid, then the fold-out poster illustrating the complex workings of the mind might just do the trick.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky