It's a wonder how Southern countryman Delaney Davidson is able to roll out so many quality songs and albums one after another, but here he is once again, releasing his fifth solo album, his ninth in eight years if you also count his collaborative works - his most recent work with Marlon Williams and Tami Neilson Sad But True Vol III was released just in February.

He's not made much of a fuss about this album as he's currently off touring Europe, but that's not to say it's any less worthy of your attention. The storyteller, blues man, low-fi folky, black-humoured old soul - all his musical characteristics are here, and his talents on an array of string instruments continue to impress.

The country-noir styling of Big Ugly Fish has a blunt intensity, the lyrics simple but evocative, and the rock-along of Rise and Shine has a similar sensibility -- a visceral, ebullient ode to the tougher side of life.

Poison Song is a swinging, brass-fuelled story about drinking demons, It's All Fun a wry search for meaning, but there's a sincerity too - Dogs of Love may be a stomping, guttural, rock song, but there's a tenderness in the lyrics, and there's a heartfelt edge to Down on Me which is a standout.

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Another brilliant collection from one of New Zealand's best.


Delaney Davidson, Swim Down Low (Southbound Records)
Verdict: More brilliant black-humoured country 'n' blues.

- TimeOut