Cameron Avery has arrived as a new breed of nocturnal crooner, a train-wreck romantic creating timeless, ambitious music for the modern age. Utilizing his soulful wit, shrewd arrangements, and a deep, husky baritone, Avery harnesses the dark power and humor of artists like Nick Cave, Scott Walker, and Tindersticks to expertly walk the fine line between vulnerable and venerable.
Hailing from the late 2000’s-era Perth, Australia, a healthy scene of hard-hitting garage rock bands, including a long stint as the drummer of Pond, Avery found his musical footing while playing with friends but sought the reward of his own outfit. Encouraged by his friend Kevin Parker of Tame Impala to record on his own, Avery started The Growl as his solo project in 2007, making an EP and an album of aggressive, distorted psychedelic rock and roll.
When Parker asked him to join Tame Impala as its touring bassist in 2013, Avery jumped at the chance and rose with that band to the top of the psych-rock heap, but all the while remained focused on carving out his singular identity as an artist and following his own muse. On a break from touring, Avery decided to head to the US to work on his album. He would settle in Los Angeles at the behest of Jonathan Wilson, the Echo Park musician and producer who also encouraged Avery to shine a spotlight on his baritone singing voice, unlike the snarling, obscured vocals of The Growl. It was a lofty idea, but one to which Avery aspired, encouraged by the challenge. Melancholic machismo is written into the very DNA of Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams.
From the classical, finger-picked guitar on the opener “A Time and Place” and the orchestral vamping of “Do You Know Me By Heart?” to the bombastic, self-assured swagger of “Dance with Me.” He takes an emotive page from the Leonard Cohen songbook-of-longing on “Big Town Girl” just as naturally as he thumbs an aggressive note of Bad Seed strut and Cramps rut on “Watch Me Take It Away.” And by the time he purrs that earnest refrain of “Baby, it’s you” on the album’s closer “C’est Toi,” Avery has surely mastered that drunken tightrope dance. Now a resident of New York City, Avery looks to continue his search for the ultimate sensations from a fresh vantage point.
STAFF COMMENTSLaura says:
The fact that Jonathan Wilson has produced this album is more of an indicator of it's sound than the bands Cameron Avery has previously been involved with: Pond, Tame Impala, The Growl. His rich baritone is perfectly suited to the romantic, string laden, swoon-some songs that make up the majority of this album, but it's equally suited to the more robust numbers and the bluesy stomp of "Watch Me Take It Away" which is one of the album stand outs. Comparisons have been make to Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker amongst others, but on gems like "Wasted On Fidelity" and "An Ever Jarring Moment" and "C'est Toi" I'd say Richard Hawley fans should take note. Lovely stuff.
1. A Time And Place
2. Do You Know Me By Heart
3. Dance With Me
4. Wasted On Fidelity
5. Big Town Girl
7. The Cry Of Captain Hollywood
8. Watch Me Take It Away
9. An Ever Jarring Moment
10. C'est Toi (Extended)