I remember watching what was probably the first television appearance by Sara Storer, I think that it was on A Current Affair or 60 minutes….it was not in the studio, it was in the great outdoors somewhere. The young singer was as Aussie as Vegemite used to be and there was definitely no frills about her. It was refreshing, but I wondered how well she would be embraced by the commercial world, and for how long, given that she was not a ‘certain type’. If you look at the gals that she hung around with on the Central Coast, eventually, Beccy Cole and Kasey Chambers, for instance, they aren’t a certain type either, and the three of them have done ok…..I reckon.
Having said that, this album is probably a bit different to what most Sara Storer fans would be expecting. Yes, the songs are about a lot of the subjects that you would expect from Sara – the drought, the country life, her family, mateship, but every song has a different flavour. There is a different approach to the musical arrangements, at least that is what my ears are picking up.
The Genius Matt Fell seems to be experimenting a bit with this aspect of Sara’s music. Instrumentally, it is a very different feel. Don’t worry, though, Sara fans, it just enhances Sara’s songs. Brother Greg Storer has a big influence on this album as well, as per usual. His contribution is fairly significant.
Sara also took a gamble by singing a song that isn’t hers, which is most unusual. The fact that the writer of that song, the legendary Colin Hay, sings it with her is also a big plus. The two very different voices from totally different backgrounds sing Next Year People with gusto and it is a song that could have easily been written by Sara.
The album opens with a song that has a sombre start but becomes almost a Celtic jig. It is a great kick off for the album. My Little Men is about Sara’s four sons, Harry, Tom, Billy and Joe. (The names themselves speak loudly of Sara’s down to earth nature – flash, modern names for Sara!) This is a beautiful, frank song about the character of her boys and how she couldn’t live without them.
Every boy needs a bike is obviously another dedication to her kids, and it is a sweet simple song that people will be able to relate to. How Sweet The Voice is probably the hardest hitting song, though Hayrunner has some moments too.
Natalie is a lovely gentle song….a little splash of pink amongst the glory of blue. I am guessing that she is a niece. It is just so sweet. I can imagine a video. The pictures are very clear.
Fox will split the audience a bit. For anyone who has lived on the land, you will understand this song and this story. There maybe some animal activists out there who will contest it, but when your chooks get killed and you have to weigh up what is most important and what animal creates the most havoc and danger, you may change your mind.
The Captain is not the Kasey Chambers song, though it would seem fitting in many ways. It is a beautiful, Celtic sounding song, that Lloyd Clarke or Craig Stewart would be proud of. Quite stunning really.
Someday is one of my favourite songs on this album. It is a song for simple dreamers. People who don’t ask for much but hope that those wishes come true.
When I copied the title of Jigalong Girls, it came out as Jiggling Girls. This song takes a few listens. Mentions of the Rabbit Fence, running, covering up footsteps and you will get the picture, a very Australian story.
This is a very polished, well produced album, with a few different brushstrokes for Sara but still a great Australian life soundtrack and probably her best album yet. I think that Sara with the flash name but the down to earth outlook and heart has come up with a gem.
“Raindance” – 3:44
“My Little Men” – 4:13
“Plough’n It In” – 2:57
“Next Year People” (featuring Colin Hay) – 4:23
“Hayrunner” – 4:45
“Every Boy Needs a Bike” – 3:37
“How Sweet the Voice” – 3:49
“Natalie” – 3:45
“Fox” – 2:40
“The Captain” – 3:16
“Someday” – 3:21
“Jigalong Girls” – 3:50