Abby Dobson's Remedy for RainyDay Blues
Thu 11th Oct, 2007 in Features
At live concerts over the last few years Abby Dobson has regaled her loyal fans with tempting stories of the almost mythical album that has been on the horizon for what seemed like all of living memory.
Well now the wait is over, and fans who have liked what they heard at any of her live performances can grab a copy of Rise Up, the 11 + track album which showcases Abby’s formidable talents as a songwriter, musician and performer.
Abby’s vocal talents first came to prominence via the songs of Leonardos Bride, the Australian alt-pop group that won over audiences in the 90s with hit songs such as Even when I’m Sleeping from the Angel Blood album. At the time, Leonardos Bride didn’t ride a tiresome musical trend or genre and Angel Blood sounds as fresh today as when it was made.
The new solo album from Dobson has all of the hallmarks of another timeless piece of Australian music.
After sweating over the structure of the album, forming an association with Craving Records, a small record label she felt comfortable with, and finding the right musicians to take her work on the road, Abby has finally put her creation into commercial release. Initial reactions and reviews have been positive, but Dobson is aware that she has a relatively low profile to overcome.
In Sydney recently to launch Shining Star the first single from the album, Dobson stamped her whimsical personality on the normally super cool dÃƒÂ©cor at the Basement by having glittering stars dangling from the Basements trademark ceiling pipework. A nice touch, which somewhat set the tone of the evening, like a big get-together of old buddies and Abby having a great time with her new band.
The fact that in the main, the musicians performing on stage with Abby were relative newcomers to the material didn’t seem to matter. Abby confidently weaved magic with each of the songs from the album and did a couple of Leonardos Bride songs for good measure, appearing perfectly at ease with who she is, where she is and what she is doing.
But things may not always have been rosy for Abby Dobson. It is often said great songs come from troubled times, and the new album does contain some introspective musings that may not just be the product of an empathetic imagination. People who are in love, people who are falling in love, people who used to be in love, people who want to be in love, people who want to get over it, and people who are just wondering where the world is going, will find themselves identifying with much of what is writ here, and the rest just takes you along for the ride. And a great ride it is.
Despite the melancholy tone in some songs the album is overall a satisfying anthology, reflecting the convivial humour of it’s author. “Horses” in particular is a musically upbeat, rolling and jaunty piece that flows along at a solid pace and carries you along with it.
It would be hard to find a better crafted album with such a broad appeal to good but of course if you don’t like anything less frenetic than heavy metal at full volume, it may not be for you. For many it may come as a welcome soundtrack to gentler moments this summer.
If you are new to the world of Abby Dobson, her vocal style is unique, but I suggest if you like talented female singers such as Jewel and Martha Wainwright, you will also fall for Abby’s sound in a big way. Though the delivery of the songs on the album is close to what you will hear in a live performance, if you feel remotely interested in this artist you should try to make it to one of the live concerts. You will be handsomely rewarded if the single launch at the Basement is anything to go by.
The “Rise Up” album went into stores 6th October and the launch is at the Vanguard in Newtown late October, followed by a month long tour of select venues in the Eastern states.
Prior to the launch, Abby will be playing a couple of less formal sessions, as special support role for the Waifs at the Enmore on 11th Oct and as part of the “artandabout -Live Lanes” performances at Bulletin Place on Friday 12th Oct.