Busby Marou – Postcards from the Shell House

[Warner Music]

Duo Thomas Busby and Jeremy Marou combined their names and talents to form Busby Marou in about 2008, releasing the EP The Blue Road, followed by two albums. Their third LP Postcards from the Shell House sees a continuation of their folky vibe.

The duo combines simple, mainly acoustic tunes with words that come from the heart. It is good to see some Australiana in their songs, with references to national place names and phrases tuned to the way Australians speak. There is a sentimental aspect to opener ‘Best Part of Me’, with its sharp, slapping percussion and the blunt notes of a ukulele. The lyrics paint simple, credible pictures. Sounding a little like a Josh Pyke song, ‘Getaway Car’ employs heavier drum strikes and a burbling bass, with vocal harmonies to light its way.

Strong on local colour, with references to the Coral Coast and red desert, ‘Paint This Land’ ropes in a banjo and harmonica, with a didgeridoo buzz towards its end. Unusually, it is from the middle of the album onwards that the best tracks appear. Highlight ‘Full Moon’ delivers one of the best melodies in the disk, borne aloft by drums and spiced up with little ah-whoo vocal hooks. There is an alluring plucked tune and a warm sunset tone to ‘Every Day in Between’, boosted by strings to add a special touch. ‘Living in a Town’ reflects on the decline of rural communities when the ore runs out, while the addition of the husky voice of Natalie Dunn gives ‘Sleep On It’ a soulful hue.

Postcards from the Shell House delivers easy to listen to tunes and lyrics with the common touch.

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