The word "change" is supposed to synonymous with the word "improvement", so in that case how come the term "Indie Pop" has moved from being a description of sensitive, gentile yet left of centre songwriting to implying everything that's wrong with modern culture, namely lads in designer clothes throwing beer and punches while mouthing the words to 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me' or 'Wonderwall' as if they were on the terraces on a Saturday afternoon?
Thankfully, Australian three piece The Lucksmiths have more in common with the pre-Gallagher notion of independent music, their honey drenched harmonies owing more to Forster and MacLennan than McCartney and Lennon.
The sprightly opener 'Camera-Shy' owes more than a passing nod to Sarah Records stalwarts The Sea Urchins, while singer Marty Donald's effortless lilt is eerily reminiscent of Gene frontman Martin Rossiter, albeit minus the annoying Morrissey-isms that made Rossiter's bunch impossible to listen to most of the time without cringing in a dark corner.
From the breezy 'What You'll Miss' to the melancholic 'The Perfect Crime', which contains quite possibly the most unhappy ending ever consigned to a piece of music ("You left your sentence open / You left without a sound / The words we kept unspoken / Bury them in the ground"), 'Naturaliste' proves to be both poignant and intriguing in equal measures, while 'There Is A Boy That Never Goes Out' shows that Australians may have a sense of humour after all.
Quite simply, 'Naturaliste' is the melodic equivalent of a change in season, and only the most obscure form of tunnel vision (aka "OasisruleOK-itis")could fail to recognise the desolate beauty that raises its impregnable head with every continuous play of this album.
7Dom Gourlay's Score