This classroom-friendly album is bristling with stories to be told about our country’s nature and past. While warm and easy, it’s folk in a very earnest form and can feel like a musical social studies lesson, most tracks gently telling a new story about changes in your hometown or modern NZ conservation issues.
Sled (aka Spencer Drinkwater) only wrote a couple, and switches from playful storyteller to sombre message-bearer. His softly spoken but firm voice – the kind that would capture the attentions of child and adult alike – really reels you in at points. The cover is humble DIY and from it I didn’t expect the level of production. A stream of instruments are handled by a talented group of players including Deb McKenzie, Warren Payne and the Orewa Middle School Choir. Engineer Micheal Young of Devonport’s Studio27A, also plays various instruments including the double bass and mandolin. The tracks with real instruments sound good, those with MIDI instruments don’t come off as well unfortunately, and it would have been better if there were no electronic drum tracks as they don’t seem to fit these nature-focused songs as well. All in all though, it’s a nice listen.