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Oh Ma, the sea is rising

February 20, 2008

Machine Translations – basically the bedroom project of J Walker – is one of my favourite Australian acts of recent years. They’ve tended to provide both quirky and endearing live shows and subtle and well-produced albums. There’s little more you can ask of a band.

Fortunately, 2007 saw the release of a new album, the first in a number of years. Seven Seven was, sadly, a bit of a disappointment at first purchase. At only ten tracks it felt a little insubstantial – and those tracks were based on simple, folky melodies. Without the oddball experimentalism of Happy or Venus Traps Fly, it seemed like Walker had merely given us a couple of cast-offs from another, better album.

But more fool me. Because underneath these songs lies something more. The melodies and arrangements are less straightforward than they appear. And the lyrics start to take on new meaning and implications.

Perhaps these tracks won’t grab you instantly. Please persist, because there will be something good waiting for you.

Machine Translations – “Oh Ma, The Sea Is Rising”

Machine Translations – “Laboratory”

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One comment

  1. totally agree, it just gets better



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