2015 Follow-Up to 2008's Acclaimed The Evangelist!
In 2008, Robert Forster, one of Australia's most respected singer-songwriters, released The Evangelist, a work that was widely regarded as his best solo album; it more than lived up to the many high points of his legendary band The Go-Betweens. Cut to 2015 and Songs To Play features ten very different Robert Forster songs recorded on a mountaintop half an hour from his Brisbane home, in an analog studio, with a troop of young musicians: talented multi-instrumentalists Scott Bromley and Luke McDonald (from The John Steel Singers), Matt Piele (drummer from Forster's touring band), and violinist and singer Karin Bäumler.
The album is really like nothing he's ever done before, although it retains many of the qualities listeners know from his songwriting. His work remains highly melodic, with incisive, witty lyrics attuned to real people and real lives. The surprise is in the spirit of the record, its sense of adventure and fun - especially after the meditative reflections of The Evangelist (recorded a year after the death of The Go-Betweens co-founder Grant McLennan).
Seven years have brought a bolder, wilder approach to sound, and a set of truly inspiring compositions. Pop songs. Five minute epics. A bossa nova tune. Singer-songwriter classics. Experimental, detailed production assistance from Bromley and McDonald. It's no wonder that, from the album's opening lines on the super-charged "Learn to Burn," Forster is bursting to get out and tell his story. Seven years in the making. And worth every minute.