Lydia Jenkin

Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Rodney Fisher, Songs From The Backyard

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Rodney Fisher. Photo / APN
Rodney Fisher. Photo / APN

When Goodshirt frontman Rodney Fisher departed to Britain in 2006 to tour with Breaks Co-op, it unfortunately meant a hiatus for one of New Zealand's most talented alt-pop bands.

But while he was living in London, Fisher started a regular singer-songwriter showcase night and took the opportunity to jump into his own solo work. The result is an eight-track collection of alt-folk-country-pop - if you dial Goodshirt into a more folky range, and mix it with the laid-back warmth of Breaks Co-op you'll get the idea.

With an impressive number of Kiwi muso friends contributing (including Marcus Lawson, Michael Franklin-Browne, Murray Fisher, Jol Mulholland, Anika Moa, Madeleine Sami, Victoria Girling-Butcher and Geoff Maddock) and Breaks Co-op's Andy Lovegrove producing, he's got a lovely talent box to work with, though the tracks all seem distinctly in Fisher's voice.

There are echoes of fellow Kiwi singer-songwriter Tim Guy in the gentle tone of many of the tracks - some of which are refreshingly under two minutes.

How Are You My Honey sees him in deeper voice with a wry smile, and closing track Tonight is a highlight, with its offbeat hook and wide harmonies.

It's a little overly earnest in parts, but mostly a sweet collection of heartfelt songs with a touch of melancholy, which question life and love in a not-too-provocative manner.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Sweet and gentle alt-folk-pop from Goodshirt frontman


- NZ Herald

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