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Jamie Hutchings - Bedsit (Come to the Dark Side Luke)

Star rating: 
4

Nine highly personal songs of a very much stripped down nature from Sydney-based singer songwriter Jamie Hutchings. The album title itself reflects the atmosphere of the songs; a lone voice from a room, emoting in a most introverted fashion with sparse arrangements, a gently strummed guitar with one or two rich embellishments. The opening song Second Winter is in a way reminiscent of the late Isaac Hayes' treatment of I Stand Accused (the long version) with its spoken intro making up half of the performance; a completely different message, but with the same purpose, of setting up an unforgettable, yet everyday scene.

Nowhere does Hutchings attempt to sell us a perfect singing voice, utilising instead, his own individualistic approach to storytelling, which befits his bedsit manner. It's a whisper in your ear, very personal, highly charged. Recorded in a former shearing shed in the Australian outback, the stark songs are reflective, contemplative and utterly beguiling. Definitely worth a listen.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky