Raised By Eagles
Diamonds In The Bloodstream
Out April 20 2015
Raised By Eagles is a four-piece outfit based in Melbourne Australia.
The band’s eponymous debut album was a refreshing and thoroughly engaging entry into the alt. country/Americana scene, not just in Australia but anywhere, such was its quiet power, finesse and delicacy. You can read my review of that 2013 album here.
Since that time, the band – Luke Sinclair (vocals, guitar), Nick O’Mara (lead guitar), Luke Richardson (bass) and Johnny Gibson (drums) has been quietly and humbly plying their trade. Word on just how good Raised By Eagles is, has been spreading, slowly but steadily.
Available on April 20 2015, Diamonds in the Bloodstream (released through SlipRail Records and distributed through Vitamin Records), is a very important event for this outfit. To my mind, the band deserves and demands to have a broader congregation and it is now primed to have some serious recognition beyond Australian shores. As a regular traveller to the U.S. and a collection of roots music festivals there, I am sure that Raised By Eagles can mix it with the best. In particular, I am thinking here of the Americana Festival in Nashville in September 2015, that Americana heartland city and music summit. If the Americana Music Association cannot see its way to accept the band for its 2015 Americanafest showcase series, some questions need to be asked of the event organisers.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. How is Diamonds in the Bloodstream?
Well, it’s concise – eight tracks coming in at a tad under thirty five minutes. Five songs written by Sinclair, two from O’Mara and a co-write between the two. Production credits are the band and Roger Bergodaz, with Bergodaz the engineer and mixer at Tender Trap studios.
“Falling Through” opens and establishes what is to follow – with a rolling cohesion and a sublime touch – nothing here is overstated and everything is feel and depth, a tale of loss and taking the wrong turn, with lovely backing vocals by Tracy McNeil. “Jackie” is the rockiest tune on the album, it has an early Springsteen vibe about a kid on the street and and it propels along, building to a crescendo of a precise lead guitar riff from O’Mara and infectious harmonies from the entire band and guest Liz Stringer. Sinclair’s tender vocals on “Sugar Cane” are an excellent cross between world weariness and undulation, and the song beautifully evokes themes of nomadic travel. “Honey” overflows with romance and hope and celebration – it’s a sublime intersection of playing and arrangements. In “Waterline” the mood turns to haunting regret – ‘so far away from home, holding the wrong side of the wishing bone’ and features beautiful harmonies and O’Mara’s deft touch ever evident.
“Window Seat” allows the band to crank up without ever losing the poignancy and storytelling focus. “Doorstep” is beautiful, it may well be the pre-eminent track in this collection ‘wipe the sleep from your eyes, I’m at your doorstep again’. Such tenderness of thought, such powerful imagery and subtle production. To close proceedings we are presented with the country rock “Days Fall” the harmony vocals adding depth and variation to what has preceeded.
Diamonds in the Bloodstream is indeed a collection of interwoven tales. It’s largely just these four guys, their collegiate understanding and skills evident. There’s perfect production and arrangements to carefully augment the songwriting which eshews the gimmicks and tricks of much music today.
Diamonds in the Bloodstream is quietly brilliant – not the ‘look at me’ flash which is present elsewhere. It is the essence of fine storytelling and sublime playing at its heartfelt finest. Totally recommended.
Here’s “Jackie” from the album
Performing tracks from Diamonds in the Bloodstream, Raised by Eagles’ upcoming set of shows will be something special. Along with the acclaimed flame-haired troubadour Ruby Boots, this co-headline tour sees the band take in album launch shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and other regional centres.
I will be at the 22 May show with as many friends as I can drag along – it’s going to be special.
Head online for other tour dates to be announced.
Thursday May 21
Newtown Social Club SYD
387 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9550 3974
Friday May 22
7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick VIC 3056
(03) 9077 5572
Friday May 29
Black Bear Lodge BRIS
Level 1/322 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Thanks to Annie Johnsson Publicity