Written By: Emily Cahil
Label: SIN – Rating:
Australian singer/song writer Kate Miller-Heidke’s newest five-song EP is sure to make an impression on all listeners. Anyone paying attention will quickly realize that each of thes songs are about particularly mundane things, instances from everyday life. But Miller-Heidke’s thoughtful lyrics, supported by creative rhythm, elevate these ordinary happenings to events. Each song is narrative in the way of a ballad but without the distinctive Irish or Country sound often associated (negatively) with narrative music.
“Politics In Space” really plays with sounds. The vocals range from windchime-lighteness to a deep croaking. The whimsical tone of the music and vocals (enhanced beautifully by a tambourine) reflects a very 1960’s sound, and is supported by the lyrics which holds several 60’s references. This only goes to show that Miller-Heidke is not only creative but also knowledgeable and respectful of musical history, and impressive quality.
“The Last Day On Earth” will make anyone listening consider what their last day on earth would be like. The piano intro is an incredibly expressive piece of music. The drums throughout this song support the vocals in a way the drums rarely do, and the result in beautiful. This song would be perfect soundtrack music, especially in something slightly off-kilter and Juno-esque.
“Words” is such a cool piece of music because it is not exactly music. The vocals have a distinctly spoken word sound to them. The lyrics are very funny and the rhythm, being spoken word-ish is incredibly artful. The title is amazingly appropriate as the words really are the central focus of this song; the music is very much secondary (but no less go for it).
“Are You F*Cking Kidding Me” will make anyone, anywhere laugh with the sheer honesty of it. This is the perfect example of Miller-Heidke’s ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. The song starts out clear and slow and then suddenly becomes about a friend request on Facebook. It quickly speeds up and becomes comic in sound, but it makes you think, “Why is the world advancing so much but our music staying in the realm of pre-technology?” The lyrics will make you laugh, but it is so true that after you have broken up with someone you really do not want them poking you on Facebook. It is a simple fact of life, and a great subject for a song.
The best song on the EP is easily “Caught in the Crowd.” This song won Miller-Heidke and her husband (and musical partner) Keir Nutall the International Songwriting Competition. They were the first Australians to do so. The song is beautiful lyrically, vocally, and musically. It is definitely a narrative, and it is about teenagers. It has a message, but it’s clear the song was not written to convey that message. The song simply reflects daily life so perfectly that the lesson is clear in it. Listen to it. You’ll be back in the high school hallway in a second and you’ll be saying “I’m sorry,” right along with Kate Miller-Heidke.