‘Between The Lines’ serves as an introduction to the amalgamated muse of multi-ARIA award winning songwriter Danny Widdicombe and eclectic instrumental trio, Trichotomy, who have lovingly paid homage to 70’s songwriting titans of yore such as Van Morrison and John Martyn, in particular when they dabbled in bringing in noted session and jazz musicians to flesh out their recorded works.
The album, Danny’s fourth solo outing all up, could loosely be defined as residing within the margins of the ‘jazz-folk’ spectrum, with tasteful lashings of 70’s AM radio. But to peg it exclusively as such would be a mistake, the collaborators pleasingly augmenting their approach with splashes of cinematic, widescreen grandeur and moody, film soundtrack invoking moments of swoon-worthy delight.
Case in point: ‘In a Natural Way’, which impressively elicits the gods of orchestrated chamber-pop with its gorgeous wash of pedal steel and sweeping strings. Later track, ‘The Garden’, also invokes a similarly cinematic vibe, bringing to mind the moodier works of masterful Tuscon, Arizona collective, Calexico.
The straight-up poppy, jazz-folk approach is probably best represented in numbers such as album opener and lead-up single ‘I’m Not Around’ and ‘Let’s Get Lost’, where Widdicombe delivers an emotive, world weary vocal performance as the band lock into a keyboard driven groove in turns smooth and insistent.
The title track drifts along off the back of smooth, jazzy piano and double bass, Widdicombe’s soulful accompaniment another classy homage to those aforementioned classic 70’s songwriters of yore. While ‘Popo’ focuses the spotlight exclusively on the band, a blissful instrumental moment inflected with Hawaiian vibes.
‘Coin Drop’ injects sweet and sighing female backing vocals into the mix and ‘Red Hill’ stirs in a dash of Neil Young’s country rock vibes, a piano interlude momentarily returning it to jazzier territory. While ‘Hold On Tight’ adds even more light and shade to the sonic palate with lashings of tasteful Hammond organ accompaniment.
Final number, ‘Sea Thing’ radiates on a pillow of strings, piano and fluttery drums, as the music floats off into the ether.
With ‘Between The Lines’, Danny Widdicombe and Trichotomony manage to straddle the oft-tricky divide of delivering impeccable song craft while injecting an aura of playfulness and adventure, but without over-complicating things. A highly impressive, world class release, right here on our own doorstep.