REVIEW: MARK MOLDRE – Troubled Genius EP

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l_3af6fb9516b44270994259e2ea1914a8Sydney’s Mark Moldre has been working on releasing a solo album for a while and the song Troubled Genius is the first glimpse of what will appear on the upcoming album The Waiting Room.

Accompanying the song on this EP are three other tracks that represent various angles to Moldre’s songwriting, all with lush instrumentation and a great production sound.

The immediate vocal association on title track is with Mark Everett from The Eels as Moldre huskily sings about a demise apparently inspired by the Phil Spector trial. The arrangement on the song is undeniably impressive with strings and a hazy, dreamlike quality to the way it grows, shimmers and sways.

‘The Songs That I’d Forgotten’ is an acoustic jaunt with a folk leaning that wouldn’t be out of place alongside Mercury Rev or The Felice Brothers. He has the knack of delivering a patient and infectious vocal melody over his music that provides a settled and well paced mood.

‘Hushabye Mountain’ appeared in the film Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang and it is Moldre doing his best Tom Waits take on the song. It creaks and rolls along like a drunken oompah band and with subtler singing and ghostly whistling it works gloriously; like a sepia-tinged afterthought.

The final track, ‘Milkwood Moon’, contains some wonderfully delicate guitar and piano touches and is the most beautiful moment on the EP. Reminiscent of some of Jamie Hutchings solo work (he has contributed vocals and slide guitar to The Waiting Room), it shows an open and honest approach to recording, allowing the space and air to fill the song as much as the notes being produced. Not a million miles from the more desolate moments of Ryan Adams it is the highlight of the EP.

If Moldre is content to let these songs appear on a precursor EP then the forthcoming album will no doubt be a fine release from this fast maturing songwriter.

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