A unique musical world to get lost in
Georgie Aué (Vocals and Piano); Jeremy Thompson (Guitar); Zac Grafton (Bass)’; Daniel Susnjar (Drums); Jessica Carlton (Trumpet); Tom Greble (Saxophone); Will Pethick (Trombone)
The genre-crossing Australian pianist, vocalist, and songwriter Georgie Aué (who we interviewed here) is set to release her third album, Desert Cry.
After four years between albums, Aué has developed her style and writing, experimenting with new arrangers and musical features, allowing her compositions to mature into this eclectic and exciting new album.
Along with time and compositional maturation, Aué’s influences have had a huge impact on her musical spirit. These influences include: Antônio Carlos Jobim, Elis Regina, Diana Krall, Stevie Wonder and Norah Jones. All the tracks were written and recorded in Perth and her hometown Adelaide.
Each track on the album tells its own story and offers new and unique melodies and instrumentation. The lyrics are centred around the many facets of love, from first love to lost love, as well as a love for the natural world and its ever-increasing fragility.
The album begins in a strikingly positive and light-hearted way, with ‘Come to Brazil’. With its conversational texture between the voice and horns, its percussive drive and refreshing vocal lines, this track is a wonderful introduction to Aué’s sound. Its distinct reference to the Brazilian feel and vigour displays Aué’s connection to an assortment of musical genres, making this album all the more extraordinary.
The following track ‘Waiting for You’ completely contrasts the mood previously established, becoming more delicate and intimate as Aué sings about love. The song begins as a ballad and slowly builds to include the horns and an overlapping tenor solo. This track illustrates Aué’s broad musical range; her meandering melodies and vocal range float beautifully throughout the song, combined with romantic lyrics, making this a peaceful pause from the earlier excitement.
This can also be heard in the fourth track ‘Cupid’, which has a sensual and calm introduction and verse, polarized by a more upbeat and articulated B section.
The album’s title track ‘Desert Cry’ is built on layers of rhythm, scat singing and distinctive, angular melodies. Its playful feel once again brings back the sounds of Brazil, taking the listener on a journey around the world.
‘Tonight’ is constructed upon a slow ¾ feel, with reduced instrumentation, bringing our attention to Aué’s soothing vocals. The vocal lines become more passionate and intense when the horns enter, becoming the vocal pinnacle of the album.
This increasing instrumental build is continued throughout ‘Let it Rain’. The twinkling piano emulates a feeling of rain falling, layered with Aué’s floaty vocals in the higher range, creating an ambient and retrospective introduction.
The accompanying melodic material becomes more pattern-based, particularly in the piano line. A gritty electric guitar solo enters and takes the song through to the outro, becoming more virtuosic and ornamental as all the other instrumental textures become more active and intense- a spontaneous musical contrast.
Aué’s love for the natural world can be heard in the lyrics of ‘Winter Sun.’ The catchy and bouncy vocal melody is emulated in the memorable horn writing. The trumpet solo is a particular moment of musical expertise, with occasional tonal exploration and chromatic movement. The tight-knit chemistry between the musicians makes for a titillating listen.
Desert Cry is a unique musical world to get lost in. The album offers something for everyone, from bouncy to romantic, from Brazil to Australia, lyrical to instrumental. Aué’s incredible craftmanship and musicianship are a pleasure to listen to, transporting the listener into her musical world, a magical place to be.
Reviewed by Isabel Marquez