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JACK DAVIES AND THE BUSH CHOOKS Shadows and Sounds of the Night gets 8/10


Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks

Shadows and Sounds of the Night
Independent

8/10

Since releasing their first single in late 2018, Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks have remained busy but level-headed, forging a name for themselves on both the local and national scene through extensive touring and the release of hook-laden country-folk tunes such as Vegemite Sandwich, which has received over 1 million Spotify streams, and WAM Country Song of the Year winner Half-Frozen Beer. The band now returns with a bold new EP, Shadows and Sounds of the Night, that finds them scratching new surfaces while pecking away at familiar themes to undercover new territory.

Opening track Penguin is a wistful folk ballad that methodically snakes its way into the listener’s consciousness. The track builds gently with layers of stringed instrumentals and piano, as Davies admires the playful freedom of the penguins and whales in an Attenborough documentary that has caught his attention. 

Inner City Lights has a 70s Californian country feel to it, ala Harvest-era Neil Young, with its twangy slide guitars and upbeat country tempo. Davies reflects on his feelings of alienation within a crowded city on a night out, as he is torn whether to stay with his friends or to keep exploring the unknown, singing “you’re scared to leave, but you’re scared to be left alone,” all the while engaging the listener with his emotive voice and knack for storytelling.

First single Fire Eyes is as textured as Inner City Lights, but in a more gentle manner that reflects the track’s sentimental nature, as Davies muses on catching up with people from his past: “it was just real nice to see you, even though we only spoke for a little while/ it made me remember that some things never change, some sort of fire in your eyes.”

Sunrise is a real standout on the EP and represents the most explorative and thematically-dense track that Davies has recorded to date. Trying to make sense of his feelings, Davies expresses his caution of the early morning hours, as the “darkness always seems to overwhelm my thoughts in the early hours of the morn,” as the Bush Chooks’ instruments build with his vocals before finding resolution in the end.

A very honest and brave work, Shadows and Sounds of the Night ultimately symbolises Davies’ desire to continue to push his boundaries as a songwriter while maintaining all that is special and unique about himself and his Bush Chooks thus far.

MICHAEL HOLLICK

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