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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Long Weekend - Feel The Way

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 4 / 9 / 2003

Long Weekend - Feel The Way
Label: Laughing Outlaw
Format: CD


First rate summery country pop/rock on debut from already much acclaimed Melbourne duo, Long Weekend

‘Feel The Way’ is the debut album from Australian duo Jackie Moffatt and Andrew Tragardh. For this album the duo have enlisted help from a number of local musicians ,but since finishing the album the band has expanded to a four piece with Stuart Wood on bass and Adam King handling the drums. Both Moffatt and Tragardh were members of Melbourne’s April Seven before breaking away to form the Long Weekend. Before that Tragardh was a lawyer and Moffatt worked in the fashion industry. The fact that they both turned away from that lifestyle is reflected in these 10 songs. There is a country flavour to the pop/rock sound the duo produce. Much of it is infused with a light summery feel. Most of the lead vocals are handled by Tragardh with Moffatt adding harmonies and back up vocals. On 'Flowers', the track in which Moffatt does take lead, her vocals have been compared to those of Debbie Harry and Kirsty MacColl , which is not something that this writer can agree with. In fact I’d be hard pushed to say who Moffatt brings to mind. Her light, sweet vocals on this song are refreshingly original. Tragardh though sounds at times like Paul Kelly or the Go Betweens' Grant MacLennan which is certainly no bad thing. The album kicks off with ‘Heading For The Sun’, which was voted as best video for 2002 at the Australian Video Producers Association Awards. It’s a pure slice of escaping from it all summery pop, which is ideal for starting the summer holidays (or turning your back on your regular job and escaping to do what you want to do). ‘Love To You’, which is next, is possibly the standout track on this album. In fact it was voted as one of the best ten songs in the country section of the Australian Songwriters Awards in 2002 which comes as no surprise. It’s an upbeat country inspired song and is where the McLennan / Go Betweens comparisons first hit home. The vocals on this song are outstanding from both singers, Moffatt’s angelic contribution being really affecting. Like the majority of the songs on ‘Feel The Way’ the lyrics make one feel positive. Even when they are dealing with the unfairness of life such as in ‘Working Poor’ or the parting of ways in ‘Flowers’ the music has a lift to it which still gets the feet tapping. The duo is as strong on writing gorgeous melodies as they are at penning good lyrics. There is not a song on here that does not have a memorable tune; most of them take just the one listen before they are lodged in the brain. Usually when a band throws in a track, which is so totally different to the general feel of the other songs, it interrupts the flow of the whole album. Not so with the only instrumental track here, ‘Gunnamatta’. It’s a totally unexpected mix of acoustic and electric guitars which strangely fits in perfectly. The following track is another eye opener. ‘Holy Night’ is the darkest song on the album. With some eerie harmonium and Tragardh talking, not singing, the first couple of verses with Moffatt’s voice tracing his it’s very affecting and reminds me for some strange reason of some of the songs on Neil Young’s new album, 'Greendale'. Then everything is back to normal for the next track, ‘Everything’s Changed’, which maybe should have been placed before the two tracks it follows! Again there is sadness in the lyrics but the music is completely uplifting. Moffatt and Tragardh both play some stunning guitar on the album that is really highlighted on this track. This is an extremely strong debut from the duo. It’s an album which sounds natural. It doesn’t sound like it was a slog for the people involved to make it,. It sounds like everyone was enjoying the recording and was making it for the right reasons. It’s uplifting, light at the end of the tunnel music, even in it’s darkest moments. Anyone with a liking for country infused pop rock will be in for a treat if they check this out.

Track Listing:-
1 Heading for the Sun
2 So Clearly
3 Love to You
4 Working Poor
5 Flowers
6 Feel the Way
7 Gunnamatta
8 Holy Night
9 Everything's Changed
10 I Belong

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