Australian country music duo The Harmonators is composed of singers Rae Moody and Liz Kinninmont, who met at the Australian Institute of Music and have been singing together ever since. Before they formed the Harmonators, they’d sing back-up vocals for each other. This experience and comfort with each other’s voices shows on their new album, Big Mouth, as they harmonise beautifully. If you’re partial to lovely female voices and harmonies, it would be worth buying the album for that reason alone. There are, though, other reasons to buy it, of course – namely, the songs.
The Harmonators have drawn on a deep pool of songwriting talent to assemble eleven songs that are not classically country but which fit into the genre well enough to appear on this blog, at least. There is a rock beat to many of them, but it’s the instruments and arrangements chosen that place them more into the country and rock camp.
Of the two Harmonators, Rae appears to do more songwriting, penning some on her own and also in collaboration Sam Hawksley, a stalwart of the local scene (on ‘Save Her Soul’, and Liz (‘Kiss Me Now’). Jay O’Shea of O’Shea appears in the credits for two songs (the title track as well as the catchy ‘Everybody Thinks I’m Lonely’, which has a nice swinging beat) and another local hero, Matt Scullion, contributes ‘Perfect Storm’ (I’m starting to wonder if that man ever sleeps, so prolific a writer does he appear to be). The closing track is the bittersweet ‘World Don’t Owe Me’, which is a great way to finish a very well-chosen selection of songs.
The album’s producer is Matt Fell, who’s becoming as busy as Rod McCormack, Shane Nicholson and Nash Chambers. The producing talent in the Australian country music scene is one of the biggest reasons for the high standard of work that’s been released over the last few years, and Big Mouth can count itself amongst that. This is an album that really crept up on me and which I’m now toe-tapping along to on a regular basis. The women’s voices are just lovely and, yes, I’m a sucker for harmonies but most people are (it’s always the harmony bands, like ABBA and The Beatles, that people go crazy over). This is a very well put together, consistently produced and played album. All of those things are hard to achieve, because they require focus and professionalism, quite apart from talent. So off you go … buy it now!