Moments before he left Australia TJ finished the album West & Lime – his fifth – an album of intersections where the journey becomes a simple choice that leaves a world behind.
It grooves, slides and arcs, stares you down with a pair of Aces when the kick drum starts pounding. Seventies glam collides with cascading tremolo; tape echo bounces from buzz-saw bass and velvet overdrive; raucous organs grind like lovers in the backseat. Spacious and epic, intimate and raw, it’s a religion, but not as we once knew it.
In 2010 TJ´s close friend collaborator, Tom Kazas – legendary ex-Moffs guitar slinger, flew from Melbourne to join the West & Lime recording posse on bass and keys; crazy brilliant Rory Toomey – founding member of Australian hip hop pioneers Meta Bass ‘n’ Breath took the drum chair. Shane Fahey steered a sea of microphones at Megaphon, to capture the live vibe of one of Sydney’s last great recording rooms.
In West the broken hearted protagonist confides
We’ll pack our bags, shine our shoes,
step into a car and drive, I’ll wear a suit for once,
maybe a tie…
Despite repeated declarations the couple will just keep heading west, by song’s end we are certain no one is going anywhere.
If love looks askance at hope in these songs, it still manages to surprise. Octron fuzz, Black Keys-esque Gospel walks between disaster and revelation:
There was a moment as I raised the cup,
I saw her sitting still, in the 13th floor window
I knew a resurrection, a new beginning
a transliteration, the salvation of forgetting
Did I open my arms too wide? Did I open my eyes too wide?
Spread the news, hallelujah!
We all know love can save us… it’s good to be reminded sometimes love saves us because things work out so badly.
Breathless takes cues from the 1960 classic Jean Luc Godard film
She made me laugh, she made me notice things
cloud formations the shapes of biscuit tins
she wanted me to be more demanding more a man
I just kept unraveling ‘til me and the thread ran
By the time he reaches for the gun in the closing stanza, you know more than the movie is over. But there is something here we recognize about being caught, being confused, being outgunned by love.
She left me breathless, she left me breathless, she left me…