25 Jul 2024
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Fraser Ross - Album Review: Thunderhead

21 Mar 2024 // A review by Catherine Bullock
Thunderhead is the indie-folk new album release from Otautahi singer-songwriter Fraser Ross, and it is wonderfully expansive, and beautifully attentive. The storytelling is intricate, and the sound is cohesive, transporting you to rolling hills and small corner street dairies in places that feel like the middle of nowhere.


As a Catherine myself, how could I not comment on the second track, Catherine? The wistful melody is accompanied by lyrical guitar riffs and washed out vocals, making for a particularly yearning song.

The next track, Cards, really jumped out at me as a very classic Kiwiana song. The filtered, closely mixed vocals, reminds me of music that you would hear on local radio 15 or so years ago, and I really enjoyed the sense of nostalgia. It fits right at home with the rest of the classic folk tracklist.

My personal favourite is Janice, In the Dairy. It feels delicate and gentle. The layers of the guitar drive the song forward, with sweet simple melodies accompanying the vocals. A few years ago, Fraser Ross spent a few years in Scotland as he continued his musical career, releasing two albums during his time there. I’m currently having my own kiwi living abroad experience at the moment, and it makes me feel a little less homesick to hear someone singing about a humble New Zealand dairy.

Even with the wonderful production on each song of this album, you can really feel the fact that these were written with just a guitar, putting the lyrics first, and working the production and arrangement around it. Pay close attention to the details of this album, and you’ll be transported to journeys through rolling hills, green landscapes, and thunder overhead.

 

About Fraser Ross

Eccentric-folk musician Fraser Ross returned to New Zealand in 2015 after three years of living and touring in Europe and the UK, mostly Scotland. On his return he toured his debut LP, Mongrels (Home Alone Music, 2015) throughout New Zealand, supporting such bands as The Phoenix Foundation, French for Rabbits, The Nudge, and Nadia Reid.

His first two EPs, And Birds Do Sing (HAM, 2009) and To Places (HAM, 2012) established him as a serious talent and a brilliant, loud-shirted presence within the New Zealand underground.

Ross has played at numerous arts festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, LitCrawl Wellington, the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Wellington City Summer Sounds, and the Christchurch Nostalgia Festival.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Fraser Ross

Releases

Thunderhead
Year: 2024
Type: Album
Mongrels
Year: 2015
Type: Album
To Places
Year: 2012
Type: Album
And Birds Do Sing
Year: 2009
Type: Album

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