Upon first listening to Mosman Alder’s Burn Bright, you can be excused for assuming that The National had written the soundtrack for The Hobbit. Lead singer Valdis Valodze’s dark baritone, coupled with the string and brass arrangements are sweeping – but not quite enough to be considered pretentious – and when given the chance, Valodze’s clever songwriting breaks out from the complex musical landscapes.
The opening track ‘Jasmine’ establishes him as fine lyricist and sees the emergence of his self-proclaimed Kafka influences. However, later phrases beg strange questions; was the refrain “I have never found you repulsive” a pick-up line and, more importantly, did it work?
Other tracks, such as ‘Raisin Hearts’ and ‘These Hands’ see Mosman Alder ambitiously attempt epic walls of sound; seemingly purpose-written for their recent Splendour In The Grass performance.
Perhaps they do sound a bit too much like The National, but they do a pretty damn good job of it.