🎡 The Friends of Rachel Worth (The Go-Betweens)

Listened album by The Go-Betweens by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

The Friends of Rachel Worth is the seventh album by Brisbane indie band The Go-Betweens, released 12 years after their sixth, 16 Lovers Lane. For this album, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan were joined by all members of American indie rock bands Sleater-Kinney and Quasi as well as new bassist Adele Pickvance. The album was recorded in Portland, Oregon at Jackpot! Recording Studio by Larry Crane.

McLennan said, “Rachel felt really natural – it wasn’t like Robert and I had separate managers or any of that industry bullshit. We’d always wanted to record in America, too, so that was a real dream. I think it has a really mysterious, otherworldly, ‘lost’ feel to it.”

Listening to The Friends of Rachel Worth, I am left thinking that any sort of follow-up to 16 Lovers Lane is going to be something of a come down. I think Pitchfork captures this dilemma in suggesting that the album feels like a ‘relic of another era’.

The Friends of Rachel Worth comes off as a relic of another era. New generations of Aussie pop bands have emerged since those early days

I remember listening to an interview about David Byrne’s album with St. Vincent, in which he talked about thinking about first space the music would be performed when writing the music. This album feels like music written for smaller spaces. For me, this particularly comes through in the way that the vocals have been recorded, they always feel close. There is also something raw about the sound and feel that reminded me in part of their first album Send Me a Lullaby, but still the precision of their later work.

The result is an album that combines the rawness of early recordings with the spare and pristine emotion of the band’s later material

Although there are explorations and extension of their sound, with synths, strings and distortion, gone are the layers of production.

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