London-born Melburnian Alison Ferrier has a pedigreed alt-country career as a member of the now-defunct The Wayward Fairies and the still extant Ravenswood; she also plays fiddle and sings with other artists in her home town.
On her new album, Be Here Now, the pedigree shows. This collection of songs is varied in lyric and style, and each sounds assured, although while there are some lovely wistful moments on the first few tracks – there is yearning and directness and connection – at times it seems as if Ferrier is holding herself back. There is something in her voice that suggests that there is more there than she’s prepared to tell us. And these opening tracks are the most confessional – the ones with the most potential to expose the storyteller.
She really lets loose on the fifth track, ‘Why Did I Fall in Love with You’, and after that the album flows through to the end, showcasing her comfort and confidence with a range of stories and finding the best way to deliver those to the audience.
This is an album that will no doubt be enjoyed by those who really know their music, especially their country and alt country, but no specialised knowledge is required to enjoy it. Ferrier is clearly an accomplished singer, songwriter and musician and therefore she makes the listener’s job easy: all we have to do is receive what she wants to give us, and it is a gift.
Be Here Now is available now.