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Shearston Renegade CD cover

The Orbweavers:

CD No: MIST 055

reviewed by Jim Low

Loom is the second CD released by The Orbweavers, a Melbourne based band formed around the creative talents and fine musicianship of Marita Dyson and Stuart Flanagan.

The CD starts and finishes with the distant sounds of birds, so it's not surprising that many of the songs have outdoor settings. These songs effortlessly transport us to places where interesting histories are shared. A good example of this is the finely crafted Spotswood, with its beautiful, evocative melody. This song makes reference to the old sewerage pumping station at Spotswood. We are also introduced to "a women of science", the pioneering bacteriologist Lucey Alford who had a laboratory in one of the pumping station's towers. I knew nothing about this fascinating woman until I heard this song and made a point of finding out more.

The landscape we travel with The Orbweavers on this CD is mainly suburban Melbourne, although the reflective beauty of Japanese Mountain extends the geographic boundaries somewhat. We are always conscious in the songs of the continual struggle between the natural and the built environment and the consequences of change. In Merri, the well-chosen opening song, we find that sometimes there is a sombre irony in change.

There is not one song on this CD that I don't like. There aren't too many CDs I possess that I can honestly make such a claim. So mentioning particular songs in no way questions the merits of the others. However, I can't resist noting just a couple more.

You Can Run is a song with an extremely memorable tune and lyrics inspired by a walk with a very special dog. It delves seamlessly into deeper reflections about restrictions, taking risks and the consequences of such action. The song Confessions is about honesty. With its crystal clear, unadorned sound, it has the listener eavesdropping on an intensely private moment. The song also highlights the refreshing, natural vocal style of the Orbweavers. These songs are examples of really accomplished songwriting.

Loom is a beautifully paced, delightfully addictive collection of songs. It is a very fitting introduction to the musical world of the Orbweavers.
Jim Low
March 2013