Ned Collette - Old Chestnut LP (Feeding Tube, 2018)
I've spent a lot of time alone in a van with this fucker. Waking up in friends-or-strangers' houses, hitting the road for a few hours, finding a bite, bitching to him about this or that, him bitching back, saddling up at the bar or back in the van drinking again, inevitably watching his charming Aussie expat stage spiel night after night -- sometimes with a band and sometimes solo, sometimes playing for no one and sometimes to a full'ish room, sometimes shabbily hungover and sometimes cockily dialed in, sometimes on his home turf but mainly on mine...In other words, there's been plenty of opportunity for the rare enchantment of 'Old Chestnut' to have run its course on me, having unnaturally over-familiarized myself with both the once-mysterious artist behind it and the once-equally-mysterious songs therein, and I can still say with some shred of *actual* objectivity that not only was this was probably the greatest record of 2018, but also that I haven't heard many others that so deeply cast a spell since then...
Limited-edition (colored) 2nd pressing. Split released with Melbourne's It Records.
"We were introduced to the music of Ned Collette by guitarist Julia Reidy, another Melbourne ex-pat currently based in Europe. Julia’s word is good as gravy around here, so we checked out Ned’s new work and were blown clean out of our socks. Old Chestnut is a haunting prog-folk song cycle for the ages.
Ned’s approach to voice and guitar resemble various models at various times. You’ll hear smatterings of Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Pip Proud in lyrics and phrasing, but these are always just spices, added to the beautifully melancholic vistas Ned arrays before our ears. On the epic track, “June,” there is a piano part by Chris Abrahams (of the Necks) so perfect in its conception it stops time.
Working with longtime drum partner, Joe Talia, and a few other guests, Collette has made a goddamn whale of an album. The songs are brilliant, the arrangements have an addictively sparse genius, and the production is so full and delicate it reminds us of folks like Jim O’Rourke, Van Dyke Parks and Roger Waters.
We are strangely unfamiliar with the bulk of Ned’s previous recordings, but it doesn’t really feel like it matters that much. With an album as strong as Old Chestnut, his history restarts here." -Byron Coley, 2018
All tracks by Ned Collette. Featuring Joe Talia, Ben Bourke, Alexander Garsden, Anthea Caddy, and Chris Abrahams. Recorded and produced by Ned Collette and Joe Talia in Melbourne, Tokyo and Berlin.
Mastered by Rashad Becker. Artwork by Maria Torres.