Blue Moons and Happy Accidents
9 Track, LP (2010, Soviet Records)
Play All Tracks In New Window
Related: Russell W.
Recorded between spring 2005 and autumn 2008, Blue Moons and Happy Accidents reveals the work of a dedicated and meticulous artist. It’s an album full of careful details and complexities that together, create one simple and elegant piece. Russell W, an independent musician from Wollongong, makes atmospheric music that flows over the listener with such calm ease; nine tracks, that while perfectly formed and enjoyable individually, can also meld together into one glorious musical exploration.
The scene is set from the opening crescendo of ‘Pastel For Alum’, as it grows into a sweetly innocent lament over a hip-hop beat. Scratch samples and vinyl cracklings feature beneath the clear notes and soothing vocal “oooohs” to create a gentle but arresting tune. Later, in ‘Act Your Age’, the soft giggling and playful words of children are heard amongst synthesised oscillations and the twiddling guitar of Russell’s brother Alistair. It’s important to note that, besides this contribution and a few samples, everything else on the album was created and pieced together by Russell W himself. Elsewhere, a quick jazz drum fill leads into the electronic pulse of ‘Cloud Rip’ to create a fast-paced, fun tune. Fifth track ‘Confetti’ features a midsection of a tinkling music box and a lonesome sax singing over it; the layers creating a brief moment of childlike wonderment, before returning to the crisp piano theme.
For me, Blue Moons and Happy Accidents evokes the best memories: the sunniest moments of a careless childhood, the good times with friends long gone, and the warm hours spent with lovers lost. For this reason, there’s also a great sadness underpinning the music; a heartbreaking poignancy that underlies its dreamy joy and whimsy. Beneath the pleasure of reflection sits the regret of losing it all, and in the time it took for me to fall in love with this album, I've smiled and cried in equal measure.
An exemplary work from a highly talented artist, Blue Moons and Happy Accidents is the kind of music that hits on an emotional and personal level; it invites the listener to make it their own. It’s what all good music should do.
by A.H. Cayley