September 08, 2006

Wons Phreely

wons phreelyBy Jenn Rogers

I have to confess. I was reminded that I've been meaning to write this review when Wons commented my myspace, after I asked him if he'd sleep with a 96 year old for 10 – 15 million. Because he said yes, I might be a little biased.

But some background, first.

One of the greatest musical arguments taking place right now in Australia is the strength of the Perth music scene. While Sydney has been obsessing over Wolfmother and The Presets, Perth appears to be consistently producing some often strange, sometimes quirky and nearly always very good indie music. Sure, it's been a few years since Wons packed up, went solo and moved to Sydney, but it's hard to ignore the music press and their cries of how everyone good is from Perth lately.

It might just be true.

Phreely himself takes the quirky indie pop route. Talking to him, it became clear the comparison to Ben Kweller is one he's heard many times before, but it's an apt one, right down to the almost clich├ęd beat up Converse sneakers and the strangely fitting sweaters. Admittedly, it's a little hard to talk about Wons as a solo outfit, at least in regards to his recording. His debut EP "To Begin With" was released in 2004 and while the samples work only to make the songs stronger, added together the music does suffer from sometimes being too busy. This is a thing of the past now, his debut LP due out on indie label Boundary Sounds (think Cobrasnake, if they suddenly found a recording side) is a strictly solo effort.

And it's then the strength of the music really emerges and that's the songs themselves. Pump It Up, a song that takes on the world of music in a few minutes has become the personal soundtrack to the make up ritual for many nights out, the perfect song to scream at the top of your lungs when you really have to hope no one else is listening. There's something self referential about this music, intelligent and yet emotional all at once. The combination is an intimate one, with each listening drawing you closer to the artist. In too many cases, this is not a balance artists are able to find, with alternating songs leaning too far to one extreme, but Wons has the ability to cover all the grounds of slacker, vaguely postmodern song writer and heart on his sleeve modern crooner in short succession in the ever popular presence of acoustic guitars.

+ radio song
+ replacement


According to 'Jenn is awesome dot com',' a very cool kid' and also 'the #1 nyc antifolk musician 2002'. Apparently, Jenn Rogers has been making a lot of international flights from her home town of Sydney, Australia and has been far busier than she ever realised.

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