Purdy – Deviant Nature (Soft)

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Kevin Purdy has discovered a bright story line. The song of joy is more than peeking through, it is moving into glee club mode only slightly muddied by a psychedelic aesthetic that sticks to everything he does. Deviant Nature really does bring on the sunshine, almost psychotically; not unlike being at the carnival as a child with the merry-go-round on overdrive and the clowns laughing at the edges as happiness morphs into terror and back again.

Without the hyperbole it is a one man studio effort by long time Sydney underground stalwart who has brought in a diverse cast of musicians: Jim Denley (sax & flute), Christian Houllemare (bass & harmonica), Alex Crowfoot (vox & flute), Donna Amini (vox), Marge Smith (bass clarinet), Brian Hall (guitar), Joseph Leonard (bass & steel guitar), Rory Toomey (percussion), Niveen Abdelatty (trumpet), John Maddox (bass), Tim Batson (synths & farfisa), Kavi Samut (flute) and Jayson McBride (trombone). Which sounds generally the making of a fairly traditional setup, if it wasn’t seen from a point of construction with some parts sampling methodology and some the layering techniques of a studio magician. Such an invocation loses itself back into that hyperbole, as indeed track ‘Majik Chimes’ would suggest.

It is the kind of loose solipsism of which musicians are quite fond. Quite a good story for children and a line which captured a generation not so long ago, indeed this album reeks of a sense of sixties nostalgia, or perhaps just the loose and wild landscapes of sound that were being created in that time. It captures at times the whole of the exotica oeuvre, all steel guitars and liquid sound, mixed in with a deft orientalist palate that marches straight into the territory created by a few English lads. It takes this sensibility and infuses it with sampling tricks, some insightful lyrics (which are slightly oblique), and almost ends up with a full blown psychedelic Brit pop album. The best example of this is in the track ‘I know, you said’ with its over joyous strutting bass, vocal chorus ‘bah bah bah bah..’, finger clicks, trumpet and a groove attack percussion combined with a spoken lyrical moral story. ‘Shackle and Kites’ also stakes claim to this territory, bright well written psychedelic pop with some very strange lyrics, which is essentially a love song.

Indeed I would contend that Deviant Nature is a love song in general, or that Kevin Purdy is in love, which generally translates into a highly listenable musical affair.

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