Jen Cloher's latest album had quite an impact on me. One of those records that immediately nestle themselves within me. Where every twist and turn take my brain on a magical ride. (What does this say of Maggie Brown's 'Another Place' that ended first on my 2017 list?) When I heard she would only play one show in The Netherlands this winter, I found to my surprise that it wasn't hard at all to get tickets. Especially when it became clear that her wife would be on stage with her.
Thinking that several of the lyrics on 'Jen Cloher' touch upon Barnett's breakthrough and Cloher being at home alone contemplating the changes in their respective lives, it must be the sweeter that they are enjoying the start of Cloher's breakthrough together. "If I could have a wife", Cloher sings in 'Analysis Paralysis', followed by "I would pay my fines, pay my taxes on time". That part is taken care of with the new Australian legislation and the big wedding ring on her finger. Seriousness and humour in one sentence. Well done.
If anything Jen Cloher's debut in Rotterdam was a huge success. Intense, well-played and memorable.
The presentation was a bit messy and needs to be worked at a little. Let's say more absent-minded professor than musician playing live on stage. Once Annika got down to playing things went pretty well. The songs are of a lo-fi nature and give the impression anyone could play them after a few guitar lessons; until the ease with which the melodies flow register. Playing may be one aspect, writing and arranging is definitely another and more important factor. In everything Hachiku reminded me of Italian singer-singwriter Cecilia I met last summer. Perhaps there's a place for here at the label?
It is to early too say Hachiku is a real talent. To write that some more songs to her repertoire are necessary. The fact that she was signed by Milk! Records is a sign her talents are recognised by Cloher and Barnett. That is a start, I'd say. Perhaps more on her EP soon.
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