The usual disclaimer applies to this review: that is, I’m always going to love the McClymonts and, therefore, you can trust that there’s a certain level of bias in this review. However, it’s their music I love – I have no personal affiliation with them – so make of that bias what you will.
So, now, to their latest album, Endless, which has taken far too long to produce, as far as I’m concerned. But the McClymonts have been busy: there have been weddings and babies, and last year there was a tour to celebrate their ten years together. It is those milestones of life that provide the content for the rounded, mature piece of work that is Endless. Gone are what might be called the ‘party tunes’ of yore, such as ‘Kick It Up’; also gone are some of the slower ballads. However, the result is a strong integration of the elements of the McClymonts’ past work and their sound. Endless has strongly constructed songs with a beat and a heart. Those inimitable sister harmonies are as central to the McClymonts sound as ever, although this time they seem to be much more woven into the fabric of each song instead of being made the feature.
While the McClymonts are personally in a place that should produce lyrics about solidity and contentment, there is plenty of wistfuless and regret on this album, which give lead singer Brooke McClymont lots of opportunity to find those lovely aches and cracks in her voice that have always made her one of the most versatile singers in Australian music. The title track is one of the sweetest love songs you’ll ever hear and Brooke stops it being saccharine because there is wisdom in her voice. There’s age too, but not in the sense of her being old – more that she sings with a real sense of knowing what she’s singing about because she’s lived it.
A quick glance at the audience at any McClymonts show reveals that it’s broad in age, and that men and women, boys and girls are all there. I used to think it was because the McClymonts always entertain – they seem to be as genetically incapable of putting on a bad show as they are capable of singing so beautifully together. Now I think it’s because their songs are always rich in emotion that is conveyed authentically. They connect with people and not just that: they like it. I will never worry about the McClymonts becoming cynical about what they do. After ten years of reaching out to their audience, they are still doing it with open eyes, hearts and arms. That is the achievement that Endlesscommemorates and documents. And for those who just want a great country pop album to play in the car, it’s that too.
Endless is released on 13 January 2017 through Universal Music Australia.