Year of the Album — #075
Kasey Chambers – “Little Bird” (2011, Sugar Hill)
For those of us already initiated into the Cult of Chambers, Little Bird is immediately accessible as a reintroduction to her already tried and true formula of Australia-tinged pop-country Americana. But with songs like “Little Bird” and “Someone Like Me” populating this record, it’d be a shame if she found herself simply singing to the already converted. Chambers has always had a soft touch when it comes to crafting intimate, honest songs of rare beauty but she’s stepped it up a great deal in the hook department, making this an album which should push her closer to the same audiences who already love current superstars in the Taylor Swift vein.
“I don’t want you that bad,” Chambers sings to a lover who insists if she just changes herself enough, he’ll want her back on that titular single, speaking to everyone who has ever kept quiet and suffered rather than be true to oneself. It’s the perfect song for the current teen generation, speaking of believing in yourself rather than expecting anyone to do it for you. “Somewhere” tone down Chambers’ vocal eccentricities on an exceptional ballad which hones in on themes of depression and desolation: “Somewhere there’s somebody waiting for the day to come / Somewhere there’s somebody on the wrong end of a gun / Somewhere a word is spoken meant so unkind / Somewhere a promise is broken for the hundredth time / And I’m all cried out.” But there’s a sense that hope still abides, even if you have to look a little deeper. When you’re all cried out, what’s next? You fight to find something to believe in.
Chambers is one of those artists you can put your faith in, and Little Bird only builds that reputation. Album in, album out she manages to produce music of the highest caliber, and her output over the last decade, from 1999’s The Captain onward, has been beyond reproach. If you’re already a fan, relish this effort as proof that Chambers is pushing into the new decade head-on, ready to continue crafting amazing music. For neophytes, this is just as good a spot to settle down and get your feet wet. You’ll soon be glad you did.