An encompassing characteristic of folk music is the genuine, heartfelt nature of the music; personal anecdotes, intimate vocals, and simple, yet moving instrumentation. Australian folk duo Husky (named after lead singer Husky Gawenda), are doing just that with their sophomore album Ruckers Hill – but their music pushes farther than those simple instructions. Gawenda transforms his memories and emotions into distinct, captivatingly sincere songs that demand for attention, but without needing to try.
“Days so sweet, my home is calling me / back to the quiet streets “ are the opening lyrics of the album, setting the tone with Gawenda’s welcoming vocals constructing the memories with a past lover. “Ruckers Hill”, the opening track from the album, spans from gentle and slow to loud and vibrant and then back again.
American folk artists were major influences for the Australian pair: Crosby, Still & Nash, Neil Young, Bob Dylan; the Americana roots style is a prominent aspect on Ruckers Hill . “Saint Joan” and “Drunk” take on a “plugged-in” demeanour, as Gawenda recounts a former romance across shimmering melodies and sweet harmonies in the former, and a time rather left to curb side in the latter. Similarly, “Heartbeat” and “I’m Not Coming Back” certainly share heavy American folk roots.
Not withholding colourful hooks in the music, tracks such as “Arrow”, “Wild and Free” and “Gold In Her Pockets” latch themselves to one’s memory with catchy choruses, adding a degree of playfulness to the album.
“For To Make A Lead Weight Float” and “Fats Domino” slow down the album for two incandescent and passionate songs that have the vocals of Husky Gawenda taking a step back, allowing the supporting musicians to take centre stage and bring a new level of intensity.
13 tracks, and each one as valuable as the last, Ruckers Hill is undeniably one of the most genuine and charismatic albums this year. Nostalgic, heart-warming layers, stitched together by sincere anecdotal inspiration, and a captivating musical performance combine to make Ruckers Hill the perfect album for the upcoming summer warmth. Enjoy the folk collection through the available stream from Exclaim!.