Cricket Farm ’s debut album takes a varied musical journey from the jaunty, quirky opening title track to the irrepressibly happy Famous, through to the evocative Like We’re Crazy and the beautifully uncomfortable Lonely One.
Older Now is a stand out with an emotional depth and pathos that immediately captivates the listener from its opening nod to Que Sera, Sera through to its heartfelt conclusion.
Hayley Robertson’s lead instrument vocals are engagingly sweet, with hints of Madeleine Peyroux and even Billie Holiday at times – most affecting when she extends herself to take risks beyond her comfortable mid-range. She provides some great ukulele and her clarinet playing is also a treat that deserves to feature more.
Bandmates Sims Ross (nylon-stringed acoustic) and Joel Vinsen (guitars) contribute thoughtfully and harmoniously throughout, both providing BVs and some lovely layered detailing.
There’s a candid kind of flippancy to some tracks, unpolished endings and beginnings which add to the album’s roguish charm – an exception being the studio comment ending of Famous which did jar a bit.
Self-recorded before being mixed and mastered by David Hine, there’s plenty to like in ‘Bending Spoons’. Whatever mood you start in the simple charm of the dozen songs here will inevitably shift it up, down and around. A fantastic debut.