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Love Thy Neighbour: Jimmy Tait - All My Friends

Love Thy Neighbour: Jimmy Tait - All My Friends

Monday 17th June, 2013 9:19AM

We're continuing to swap tracks with our trans-Tasman counterparts Who the Hell and this week new WTH contributor Annie Toller introduces us to the charming - and quite depressing, really - single 'All My Friends' from folk singer Jimmy Tait.

Folksy ballads irk me more when they come from women. That probably makes me sound like some sort of iron-trousered, neo-Thatcherite anti-feminist, but hear me out. In an industry that’s still mostly male-dominated, when a woman gets herself out there I just don’t want to see her ‘femininity’ come off so darn cliched.

What I do want to see are post-punk hellraisers like Savages, fall-down drunks resurrected like Cat Power, psychedelic mums like Beaches‘ Alison Bolger, digression-prone eccentrics like The Orbweavers‘ Marita Dyson. Or jaded cynics like Jimmy Tait front woman, Sara Retallick.

‘All my friends/Sitting on the fence/They’ll never rush to my defence,’ Retallick sighs on new single, ‘All My Friends’. She sounds a bit mournful, but mostly just resigned. She’s been referred to as ‘Australian gothic’, but the result is less gauche than that might lead you to believe.

The new song creeps up on you, accruing some satisfying little touches as it goes along – like the bend in the main guitar riff and the low voice that shadows Retallick’s lead. With the swaying choral ensemble of the last few bars, it’s probably the most melodically beautiful thing Jimmy Tait has produced so far.

The record is due out some time in September. If it lives up to the promise of ‘All My Friends’, Australia’s got a new singer/songwriter worth getting behind."


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