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Album Review: Liz Stringer - All The Bridges

27 June 2016 | 4:25 pm | Steve Bell

"Liz Stringer has become one of the most respected singer-songwriters on the national scene."

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Over the course of her lengthy solo career (abetted by her turn in the Dyson Stringer Cloher project alongside Mia Dyson and Jen Cloher a few years back), Melbourne artist Liz Stringer has become one of the most respected singer-songwriters on the national scene, her natural talent with words and melodies further augmented by a tireless work ethic and clear love of performance.

Despite the inherent Australian tone of her work so far, for her fifth long-player All The Bridges Stringer decamped to Type Foundry Studio in Portland, Oregon to work with lauded producer Adam Selzer (The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, M Ward). She enlisted two previously unknown local musicians — Luke Ydstie (bass) and Ben Nugent (drums) — and unleashed her smoky voice upon a series of classic '70s- and '80s-sounding tracks which at times bring to mind what Chrissie Amphlett fronting The Heartbreakers may have sounded like.

Among this strong batch lead single Anyone is a compassionate ode to friendship and loyalty, If You Mean It drips with pedal steel-laced melancholy, Protecting Myself is a snarled look at the culture of greed (atop an almost Pat Benatar bedrock), and Keep On Keeping On is a Springsteen-esque blue collar narrative while plaintive acoustic lament The Fever & The Fall ends proceedings on a slightly heavy but otherwise uplifting note.

These world-weary ruminations are heartfelt but never earnest, the considered, well sculpted lyrics suiting the laidback country-rock vibe perfectly. Another fine foot forward.

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