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Darling Downs - JPop.com
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Darling Downs

Darling Downs

Darling Downs


Darling Downs stand out as the most unlikely of collaborations between longtime members of the fertile Australian rock scene. While it is not at all insane to imagine the driving force behind Kim Salmon & the Surrealists, The Scientists and Beasts of Bourbon, Kim Salmon, working with Died Pretty’s energetic frontman and songwriter Ron Peno, the improbable happens when you consider the result that might flow from such a teaming. What are the odds that these two towering figures of Australian music Read more on Last.fm
Darling Downs stand out as the most unlikely of collaborations between longtime members of the fertile Australian rock scene. While it is not at all insane to imagine the driving force behind Kim Salmon & the Surrealists, The Scientists and Beasts of Bourbon, Kim Salmon, working with Died Pretty’s energetic frontman and songwriter Ron Peno, the improbable happens when you consider the result that might flow from such a teaming. What are the odds that these two towering figures of Australian music, famous for swaggering, noisy, swampy punk rock (Salmon) and soaring pop rock (Peno) would concoct such a perfect loveletter to American country folk? 1000-1? Armed only with Kim Salmon’s custom Cole Clark acoustic guitar and Peno’s singular voice and vision, Darling Downs crafted an almost impossible album: a record of nuanced beauty, a subtle masterpiece that unfolds like a dahlia with each successive spin, giving the listener something new and unexpected at every helping. All from two guys and one pristine guitar. At times Peno channels the spirit of Appalachian folk’s high lonesome sound, complete with yips, yelps and howls (“In That Jar,” “Let It Breathe”), while elsewhere his (improvised?!) vocals are hypnotically understated, almost delicate--threatening to disappear into thin air before crashing down like thunder (“Loverslain,” “Deep Deep Blue”). Supporting Peno’s acrobatic vocal brilliance is Salmon’s equally understated, elegant guitar playing, perhaps the most restrained of his career, made all the more stunning when you know the fireworks and growl of which he is capable and for which he is famous.

From the more traditional strumming on “There’s a Light,” to the fingerpicked sparkle of the opening track “I’ll Be Always There” and “In a Cold Place by a Lake,” augmented by mouth harp and triangle that almost shock when they emerge from the surrounding ambiance, to the near ragas on “Why Did She Leave?” and “Waste My Time,” Salmon showcases not only his versatility but playing of such surprisingly refined grace that it defines the album as one of the best listens of 2006. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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