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Ned Collette – Jokes & Trials (2006)

Ned Collette – Jokes & Trials (2006)

Relax, this ain’t the brother of that awful Aussie “actress” Toni Collette! At least, I fucking hope he’s not!

This is the rather good debut from the latest Nick Drake! Maybe, it’s Ned Drake!

Ned’s an interesting Aussie songwriter. Well, whoever wrote this sure thinks so!

We live in a world of just-add-water rock stars, where pastiche is mistaken for progression. Quite obviously invisible but powerful forces manipulate the back end of just about everything to give the mistaken impression that we are discovering new sounds for ourselves, when in fact we are fed from a very long corporate-branded spoon. (And no, we are not being paranoid here – we all know it happens and the media quietly turn a blind eye and report without digging any deeper).

In spite of all this, Ned Collette has taken the quiet back road to a place some distance out from obscurity, heading at his own speed for a destination of his own choosing.

That chosen road is without doubt a leafy and sun dappled one, and that destination pastoral and perhaps even a little bucolic. Ned may hint at a past age of music (Robert Wyatt, John Martyn, Brian Eno, Soft Machine, Jerry Garcia, Nick Drake) but he moves everything defiantly forward with his elaborate arrangements, slow building melodies, gradually revealed hooks, looped and layered guitar parts and optimistic yet world weary lyrics. And while everyone else seems to be shouting, Ned is singing.

If Collette’s musical adventurousness and the terrain he chooses to cross make him more a contemporary of current international musical voyagers than current Australian artists, then that can ultimately be only a blessing for music here and overseas. This is perhaps why Joanna Newsom watched Ned from the wings when he supported her on Australian dates this year and immediately asked him to open shows on her summer tour of Europe and the UK. (Whilst in the neighbourhood Ned headlined a few of his own shows, toured with Camera Obscura and headed to the USA for select dates).

This isn’t to say that Ned’s debut solo album Jokes & Trials passed un-noticed in Australia when it was released in July 2006:

  • “Exquisitely picked… thoughtful, though not self-consciously clever lyrics’” (Melbourne) Magazine
  • “Plays like all your favourite acoustic pauses burnt to one disc” Sunday Age
  • “Nothing short of exemplary” Four Stars Age EG
  • “Listening to Ned Collette is like falling in love” Drum (Perth)
  • “A voice that can break hearts at a hundred paces” Drum Sydney
  • “An album that is every bit intriguing as it is plainly beautiful” Big Issue
  • “Ned Collette establishes himself and shines fantastic” dB Magazine
  • “Impressive and ever changing” Mess and Noise
  • “Never less than compelling” Inpress
  • “A gentle giant in the making” Beat


1. Song For Louis
2. Happy Kidnapper, The
3. A Plea For You Through Me
4. Boulder
5. Hill
6. Laughter Across The Street, The
7. Heaven’s The Key
8. Janet
9. Don’t Talk
10. Blame

Here’s Neddy

Thanks to the original poster

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April 18, 2008 Posted by | Music_Alternative, Ned Collette, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

Ned Collette – Future Suture(2007)


Ned Collette – Future Suture (2007)

Here’s Ned Drake’s second solo album. Me likee!

This time he’s Ned Dylan!

Future Suture, the new album, sees Ned recording in his own studio above a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne, producing the album with long time collaborator Joe Talia.

The great news is that he will never go hungry in that studio!

With the passage of twelve months since his debut Ned’s musical perspective has shifted. The album opener ‘First Love’ may start with simple acoustic guitar and vocals but this is just a departure point for the elaborate and profound journey to follow.

‘Sell Your Life’ could have kicked its way down an autumnal laneway just outside of Canterbury in 1968. ‘Forty Children’ sees Collette launch his attack on the last ten years of global “demockracy”, and ‘Show Your Hand’ furthers this theme, albeit with the specter of John Barry floating in the arrangement.

‘The Country With A Smile’ rides softly rippling wave patterns that may have once emanated from Eno’s green world, whilst ‘Winter Holiday’ sees a return to affairs of memory and the heart, so present in the first album.

‘Ned’s Dream’ is a knowing, though darkly romantic, acknowledgment of Bob’s, and the dying moments of ‘Lost And Found’ play a wonderful musical joke on the song’s final lyrics.

Race, finally, sees Collette step out to smash all preconceptions of him as some anti-rock dilettante, creating a solo that the old school term “axe hero” was coined for.

Future Suture – here it is, now find it for yourself.

Formerly of the excellent avant-garde noisemakers City City City, Ned Collette has since stepped out on his own with a more conventional singer-songwriter approach.

After supporting Joanna Newsom on her visit last year Collette is up to album number two, and while it’s a more subdued effort than Jokes & Trials, the songwriting again stands at the fore.

There is no sense of Collette’s guitar-only loops-driven live show here, the tracks occur naturally, removed beyond Collette’s self-restriction. Strings and horns fold in where necessary though arrangements are still relatively sparse.

Everything here is pleasant though occasionally not completely engaging. The serenity of tracks like Winter Holiday sneak them right past the ears without much to notice them by, but Sell Your Life and Ned’s Dream are the opposite, gripping gently, but firmly. Collette’s voice is noticeably Australian and has a pastoral quality but this just adds charm. An enjoyable listen.


Check Ned here:


1. First Love
2. Sell Your Life
3. Forty Children
4. Show Your Hand
5. The Country With A Smile
6. Winter Holiday
7. Ned’s Dream
8. Lost and Found
9. Race

Here’s Neddy

Thanks to the original poster

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April 18, 2008 Posted by | Music_Alternative, Ned Collette, _MUSIC | Leave a comment