Holly Throsby – ‘A Loud Call’

July 17, 2008 § Leave a comment

Published: The Vine, July 11, 2008.

Holly Throsby
A Loud Call
(Spunk/EMI)

Holly Throsby has blossomed. You only need to delve two tracks deep – the gorgeously ornate opener ‘Warm Jets’ and the shimmering pop of first single ‘A Heart Divided’ – on stunning third album A Loud Call for it to become abundantly clear. The record’s countless other acoustic expositions act only to reiterate the obvious.

The beauty, it seems, of what Throsby has achieved here is in its genuine duality. She has expanded her palette irrevocably – the emotive, lyrical and sonic hues that adorn A Loud Call colour Throsby’s song-craft in an entirely new shade – but she has avoided abandonment at all costs.

The sheer economy and intimacy of her words, the near-whispered qualities of her phrasing and delivery, the simple, woody inflections of her instrumentation and arrangements echo with same close-quartered characteristic as On Night (2004) and Under the Town (2006). It’s just that they’re brighter, livelier, more stunningly vivid. Heart-torn vignettes like ‘And Then We’re Gone’ and ‘To Begin With’ recall earlier work, but the wondrous accordion and harp-feathered ballad of ‘Now I Love Someone’ adds a romantic affirmation never explored before.

Recorded in Nashville with Lambchop’s Mark Nevers, A Loud Call certainly possesses a sonic warmth and clarity that her previous albums failed to garner. But again, Throsby refuses to abandon her past, and with blissful results.  Despite tracking with Nevers, she still uses her long-time right hand man, farmstead producer and composer Tony Dupe, to add his wonderfully tactile, rag-tag arrangements to the mix. The stumbling, fall-apart pop of ‘One of You for Me’ is one of Throsby’s finest and most eccentric moments to date, and a complete Dupe masterpiece.

A Loud Call is an apt title for this record. Having previously only offered us a bashful insight, Holly Throsby has well and truly come out of her shell – her past and all her wonderfully human imperfections still perfectly intact.

Dan Rule

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