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The best kept secret in music


"This is Living"

At 15 tracks and about 51 minutes, you certainly aren't starved for material with the new Maewest disc. The band have had an impressive run - Best Emerging Live Act honours, the Offshore Festival back in 2001 and a grant from Arts Victoria to fund the new album are just some of the credits the band can boast over the last 2 years.But onto the music. This is an album full of character, swinging from wistful glances back to times and places long since past, lush sounds and slick production, and also some raw, good old-fashioned rockin out. The range of instrumentation is impressive - liberal washes of strings ("Stretching Truth"), Beatles-esque synth tones and even xylophone ("Hawker"). "Storm" opens with an almost ethereal feel, grounded by the earthy vocals of Rob Svars. The title track "This is Living" starts in much the same way before kicking into a big, rollicking sing along chorus, and a britpop feel shines through on "Three Days". "Between Us" provides a folk-influenced, acoustic based anchor for the albumInstrumentals are here too - "Lets Go Get Warm" and "Oscar" provide mellow, atmospheric segues between quite different tracks. "Hesian" is a short guitar based pop instrumental, and "Stretching Truth" begins with a big string wash, and could easily be taken from the new Chicane album, right up until Rob starts singing, when the song morphs into something that would not have sounded out of place on U2's Zooropa. The album winds down with the mellow "Tuesday" - and it's a solid closer, fading away and leaving a pleasant memory behind.Perhaps the most impressive thing about the album is the variety that Maewest are able to achieve, from rocking choruses to mellow instrumentals, hook-laden acoustic tracks and gentle groove - all while maintaining the integrity of the album. Nothing here sounds wildly out of place, even though the songs themselves are quite diverse. This is a mellow collection for the most part, but one that sucks you in at first listen. Its quite simply honest, soulful music being played by accomplished musicians. Looking forward to catching these guys live. - Oz Music Project


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Maewest is a very cross-genre band which gives them such broad appeal. Taking an elegant songwriting simplicity that could have been borrowed from a Johnny Cash and adding to this elements from Led Zepplin to Fiona Apple, Maewest have a distinct originality that easily crosses demographics and geography. Put simply they make great music and people like it.