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REVIEW: LOREN KATE - YOUR OWN LITTLE OCEAN
Your Own Little Ocean

Loren Kate
Your Own Little Ocean

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Anthony Vawser- MUSIC SA
When (oh when) will Music SA stop sending me CDs that are almost impossible to criticise or find any fault in...?

I was certainly not expecting my latest assignment to even come close to generating the level of enthusiasm that I felt for Gemini Downs, but I am helpless in the face of the musical evidence: Loren Kate has produced an EP entitled Your Own Little Ocean that (to these ears) sounds practically perfect!

It actually feels slightly redundant of me to be writing a review, since this is one of those happy instances when an artist’s press release pretty much says it all, and says it accurately!

The overall sense of artistic accomplishment and impeccable taste that runs right through this estimable release extends to the packaging concept and the design of the artwork: a gorgeous rainbow/ocean/waves design (with what could be a sleeping baby providing the main focus) that looks to me like an even-more-beautiful variation of the sleeve of Goanna’s Oceania (one of the most criminally-overlooked-and-underrated Oz albums of all time, by the way!) The texture and colour of the recycled paper package of the EP would feel aesthetically appropriate even if it didn’t also resonate with the seriousness of the environmental situation that we all face as responsible inhabitants of Earth…

This connects with an unspoken theme that I detect strongly from the surface of these songs: Loren’s concern for the adequate preservation of our planet, for the sake of the future of her newborn child, as well as the rest of the current generation of young people…However, this music is not moralistic, nor is it narrow in scope or self-righteous in tone; it is universal, enveloping, captivating!

The opening guitar notes of first song 'Fill Your Cup' are just about as warm and resonant as could be, and Loren’s voice is simply gorgeous, floating with authority over the gentle melody and letting the heart-warming sentiment of the lyrics flow like honey, with the cello of Mel Robinson providing the ideal, understated, additional musical touch.

On 'Ukeabye Baby' (hopefully you can guess which slightly-exotic instrument makes an appearance to give the track its title) Loren and Mel’s heavenly harmonies convey the care and concern described in the lyrics, while the jaunty rhythm ensures that the song rises far above the typical slushy ode-to-innocence, becoming instead as beautiful an expression of mother-love as I can imagine…

'Travelled for Miles' has a skip in its step and a delightful uplift in its tune, which when combined with the simple, searching, yet optimistic lyrics, makes for another highly satisfying song, while the title track feels like nothing less than Mother Earth singing to us from the heavens, making everything and everyone seem all right - for 4 minutes, at least! 'Wood and Glue' makes it an easy 5-out-of-5 strike rate for marvellous EP from an exceptional musician who I am most glad to have made the acquaintance of!



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