Yesterday saw the annual Homebake music festival in The Domain, central Sydney. Amongst many fine Aussie artists performing was the cross-over queen, Kasey Chambers. Primarily a country and western singer, Casey's music is also considered middle of the road rock/pop.
I used to think it was just me, but for all her talent Kasey really annoys a lot of people. And it's to do with the fact she sings like a baby. Or more to the point, she seems to sing from the back of her nose. As if she's wearing braces. Or maybe it's the stud in her mouth - or is it the chin ? Whatever...
A female passenger from the concert vented her frustration, 'Yes she was fantastic, but for God's sake, she's a grown woman with a baby and husband ! Sure, I've got her CDs, but I can only listen to them in small doses.' An early hit for Kasey was, Not pretty enough. A song which received so much airplay it became annoying in my cab. Women especially would request I turn it off.
Later in the evening I carried a woman from Homebake who had marketed Kasey in the early days for EMI. When I put this vocal peculiarity to her, she reluctantly agreed, 'Yes, she tends to polarise people with her voice. But she talks like that.'
Shortly thereafter Kasey was interviewed on ABC radio's Saturday Night Country. Whilst she does talk with a voice which sounds affected, I don't think it is. It sounds strangely natural.
Anyway have a listen, (about a third of the way in) and judge for yourself. Here she chats to the host and plays some beautiful tunes from her new album, Wayward Angel. Simply sensational, especially the title track plus her new single, Pony. Check out the baritone guitar. We're going to be hearing a lot of this song. Hopefully not too much.