First things first, if you don’t like Folk/Acoustic music, you ain’t going to like this one. There’s no two ways about it.. There’s acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies, and god forbid – harmonica’s , aplenty. They come highly recommended though, having toured with Mr Dylan himself.
The Waifs are a trio from Australia, who could be a piss puller’s dream for a hippie folk band. Two sisters, daughters of a fisherman, teach themselves guitar and head off around Australia in a camper van singing and playing songs they love. Along the way they meet a guy who plays bass, and together they become the waifs. 4 self produced and released albums later, here we are.
The experience has obviously stood them in good stead, as this is a well crafted, well performed collection of songs not without some charm. It’s not earth shattering, it’s not new by any means, but it is original – in so far as they have found their own voice and their own particuluar expression. It’s a very Australian album as a result. There’s the tinge of accent in the shared vocals of all three – which make for interesting, but beautiful harmonies – a trademark of their sound. Themes of travel and distance, particularly in “London Still” will appeal all too readily to the antipodean backpackers spread throughout Europe!
There is a tendency to the maudlin though – and all these downbeat songs betraying homesickness and alienation grate abit after a while, particularly if you’ve heard their more upbeat numbers – such as the infectiously sing-along “The Waitress” from their 2000 release “Sink or Swim”.
So all in all, a mixed bag. Worth checking out – ask your nearest Aussie barman for a listen, he’s bound to have a copy!