AOW: Daylight Savings — Surprise Chef / Idiot Prayer (Nick Cave Live at Alexandra Palace) — Nick Cave
This week’s Album of the Week show is an all-Aussie affair, with jazz-funk sounds from Melbourne locals Surprise Chef, and the latest live release by Australian music royalty Nick Cave, with Idiot Prayer (Nick Cave Live at Alexandra Palace).
Released on the verge of a city re-awakening, Surprise Chef’s Daylight Savings speaks to vintage funk in a way that encapsulates just how much love the Melbourne boys have for the genre. A sprawling instrumental album, Surprise Chef recorded this latest release in the heart of winter and a city-wide lockdown. Despite this, the album exudes summer energy and is perfectly suited to playing in a sunny beer garden on a Sunday afternoon. The warm synths of “Dinner Time”, and the funk guitar of “New Ferrari” are reminiscent of our own local Khruangbin flavour. It is an album filled with joy, for a city that has never needed it more.
One of the most prominent Australian voices of the last few decades has produced a haunting new live album. Nick Cave has had a career ranging from soulful ballads to heavy, physical rock in his time with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. He has become more and more sentimental in the latter years of his career and recently recorded a Covid-safe set in London this June. The set was live-streamed in July to paying ticketholders, and the visual of Nick Cave at a gorgeous grand piano in the middle of the resplendent Alexandra Palace was enough to convey the intimacy of the set to come. Nick Cave performs songs from his back catalogue up to his more recent releases, all bare bones versions of their former selves. The set is haunting, romantic, tragic and hopeful. A storyteller through and through, a piano is all that can be heard aside from his iconic voice on this live recording.