29 October 2013

Konrad Lenz album Sugar Skulls & Marigolds. A review

| johnboy
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album cover

It used to be I got CDs in the mail, but it’s 2013 so I get bandcamp validation codes via facebook. (preferably email john@the-riotact.com, much more likely to be actioned)

Yesterday it came from Konrad Lenz.

This long term fixture in the local music is one of the most covered local songwriters by other performers. Famous for a shambling appearance that reeks of whiskey even when it doesn’t.

In recent years he’s been singing a lot of old blues songs, but with Sugar Skulls & Marigolds it’s all original.

Konrad is famous for his gravelly voice which evokes Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits.

If you don’t like Cohen or Waits then you’re unlikely to be thrilled with Lenz’ work.

But if you do like near spoken poetry with music carrying an emotional edge (anger, sorrow, or disappointment mostly) then this could be for you.

Most of the album is classic lonely Lenz (he can be more upbeat when band members drag him alone for the ride).

Back to Dust is unusually delicate. Readers familiar with Konrad’s work will be astonished to hear it’s even sadder than his usual work.

It sounded good on my iMac, but the production is fantastic on the big stereo rig, gorgeous use of space in the mix.

If you’re feeling sad, or angry, or disappointed… If you just want to remember what those emotions feel like, then this is some really solid music to put on.

If on the other hand you want to blast some K-Pop to paper over the howling anguish of your soul then maybe this isn’t for you.

You can have a listen for yourself now:

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I love Konrad’s work. He’s one of Canberra’s real gems.

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