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REVIEW – Texture Like Sun at The Workers Club

February 27, 2013 by Josh Forner

It’s all quiet on the Western Front as singer/songwriter Neda, stands before me with an accompanying lead guitar, and judging by the first note struck by vocalist Neda, and the bulky, hollow-body adorned by the lead guitarist in this duo set-up, I think I may be in for a bit of a country set.

Neda is relocated West Australian songstress, Tenielle Neda, who now spends her days in Melbourne.

I am beginning to hear hints of The Coors in Neda’s vocal styling and her own guitar work, which is backed up by an honest and hearty lead. Indeed, Neda proves me right by breaking into a Coors cover toward the end of her second song, incorporating it as an outro.

Strength exists in her vocal as she bounds away from the earlier country-influenced introduction. Her top end register is truly exceptional and I am as equally impressed by the harmonies which atone a perfect balance in Neda’s armoury.

Tully on Tully will be next up. I’ve a wash of anticipation as I have heard a great deal of good things about these guys from reliable sources.

They fail to disappoint as everything is tight, from the word “Go”. I feel actual stage presence oozing from the lead singer – Natalie Foster; something that’s a welcome change to the sometimes drab and lifeless performances Melbourne is producing these days.

The face of Tully on Tully’s songs is undoubtedly the words, considering the concise clutch on their delivery. Much of the musical intellect exists in the two-tier keyboard with a bass that seems to boom over the top (I couldn’t tell if that was deliberate) and the odd moment of a catchy, harmonic guitar interjection, which never appears showboaty or unwelcome.

Their style is difficult to pinpoint, which is not always a bad thing. It’s a sort of ambient and harmonic rock; a step back from the ever-present “indie” movement of today.

The versatility in this girl’s voice shines through as Tully on Tully slide through a set of songs which are energetic, yet laid back at the same time. They utilise breaks of silence at the right moments to keep this inclination alive. The drums cut in at the times that they’re supposed to, without quite “hiding” in the background, either; Frank Lees is a controlled and skilful player.

The package that is Tully on Tully are a great recommendation for something just a bit left-of-centre; still following a non-threatening rock music ideal. They finish with a generously upbeat number in which every instrument demands an accentuated presence – a demand which is aptly met.

The band that the crowd have swarmed late to The Workers Club to see treat us to a little hesitation before appearing on stage. Texture Like Sun introduce with an ambient little song, which cries out Radiohead to me instantly. An intricate balance between melody and a powerful, heart-wrenching voice, with meaning and with poise.

Versatility abounds as their second song draws from an old soul vibe. The organ-set keyboards wailing a driving backbone behind a skilfully placed guitar, which licks up your involuntarily amassed wounds, provided by the vocal, with a blistering solo through Middle-8 to outro.

From here on in I sense that Augie March may have left a distant mark on the influence of Texture Like Sun. A necessary to-and-fro exists between instrument and vocal, all in a friendly joust which never seems aggressive, or out of place.

Unfortunately, the names of the members of this band don’t seem to appear anywhere that I could find in the time I needed to publish this review, so I will need to continue referring to them by their role in the band.

The lead singer finds himself a nylon-string to fiddle with at times, all the while not detracting from the quality at his back, which includes at times a softly and elegantly played violin.

Vocals seem to be the stand out for each of the acts tonight. Texture Like Sun are no exception, with songs carefully crafted around the central strength of the singing voice and the words themselves. A break into a Gorillaz cover mid-set in a much articulated, broken-down, slow shuffle format draws keen attention from the ever-growing crowd.

Bands of the likes of Texture Like Sun do not come around too often, a real listener’s treat, combined and implored so carefully, as enriching to be doing something that is best described as “their own thing” (however cliché). They’re too classy for pigeon-holing; they’re much better than my words can attribute. See them yourself, and discover what I mean.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.

Author Details

Josh Forner

Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.

Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.

He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.

Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.

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