WHO IS SHE? The umpteenth captivating female indie-pop singer-songwriter from Australia to arrive on these shores in recent months. Which raises the question: How many artists does it take before we officially declare an Australian Invasion?
WHAT IS THIS? Her impressively assured debut album — and a fine place to get on board before the Gena Rose Bruce bandwagon starts to get crammed.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Bruce (or at least her publicist) calls Can’t Make You Love Me “an intoxicating ride through love, lust, self-destruction and surrender.” I can’t really top that — but I will add that those yearning lyrics and haunting vocals are accessorized with a rich array of gorgeous indie-pop melodies and inspired instrumentation that includes both the expected (strummy guitars) and the unexpected (throbbing keyboards).
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Who Says I Can’t Make You Love Me?
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? You could put it on a playlist with Down Under contemporaries like Alex Lahey, Stella Donnelly, Julia Jacklin and Courtney Barnett — but a few old Mazzy Star tracks mixed in wouldn’t be out of place at all.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Smoky, pulsing, melodic, introspective, dreamy, yearning, restrained, colourful, enthralling, revealing.
WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST SONGS? I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You and Rearview are the two most recent singles and videos, but I prefer the tightly wound guitar-rock of Coming Down, the smouldering twang and heart-tugging ache of For You and the girl-group waltz of I Can’t Be That Easy.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘If they bring back Twin Peaks again, she would a perfect act for the Roadhouse.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? She’ll make you come back for more.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A LETTER, WHAT KIND OF LETTER WOULD IT BE? A Dear John letter that leaves you feeling worse for her than for yourself.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Get it from her Bandcamp page below.