DITTIES FROM DOWN UNDER: Bertie Blackman
Intrepid Melbourne (nee Sydney) songwriter Bertie Blackman was inquiringly folky on her 2004 debut Headway, while 2006’s Black rocks hard and sultry. On 2009 LP Secrets and Lies she got stuck into electronic sounds and allowed her songwriting to whimsically unfurl. Her fourth album Pope Innocent X is yet another artistic leap. Bertie is more assured and exuberant and the songs on PIX are stated with illustrious integrity. With the help of Francois Tetaz‘s (Gotye, Architecture In Helsinki) expressionistic production, songs such as “Tremors” and “Hide and Seek” sound like Kate Bush‘s melodic agility deployed from atop Nick Cave‘s lurid pulpit. Lead single “Mercy Killer” surrounds you with flashing visions of deceit and splatters of distorted colour. The feisty drama is abetted by a raunchy guitar solo, which raises the hairs of your worldly conscience. The album sees Australian release in late August and we have no doubt a US release is just around the corner because this album simply refuses to keep quiet.