Friday 19 July 2013

Review: Frally – Apis Mellifera

Frally – Apis Mellifera (The Apiary)
Frally Hynes’ second album was recorded in Williamsburg, NY with a group of players that include engineer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hill (Rufus Wainwright), Jon Graboff (The Cardinals), CJ Camerieri (Bon Iver) and drummer Bill Dobrow - together with various guests, such as Teddy Thompson, Lucy Wainwright Roche and George Byrne also on board. The Australian singer-songwriter, now resident in California, is obviously unafraid to follow her muse, both physically and emotionally, and “Apis Mellifera” is the inspired outcome.

It’s an accomplished collection of songs that lean on folk and old country traditions, and could have sat comfortably in 4AD’s mid ‘90s catalogue, alongside Tarnation and Lisa Germano records. There’s certainly a timelessness to Frally’s approach to both her music and songwriting, and the production is gloriously in sync with the themes of love and loss, with a high-lonesome ambience, which suggests old Bakelite radios and ‘50s noir.

The album begins with “By Chance” where guitar and keys strike a balance and when coupled with the delicate vocal, the result is achingly beautiful. “Get You Gone” is desperate and in no mood to forgive, and the dusty country tones of “California” appear utterly authentic - with Graboff’s pedal steel providing weepy depth. In contrast, there’s the gothic melancholy of “Devil At Your Door”, which provides another distinct high-water mark, without sounding much like anything else on the record.
Phil S.

Note: “Apis Mellifera” is the Latin name for the Honey Bee, and a percentage of the profits garnered from the sales of this fine record will go toward research on hives and the collapse of Honey Bee populations. Please visit Frally’s website for further details (link above).

Frally – Get You Gone

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