Sunday, November 18, 2007

Music you didn't know you love: The Waifs

Hailing from Albany, Western Australia, Josh Cunningham and sisters Vikki Thorn and Donna Simpson are The Waifs.

Their sound is contemporary folk-pop, with acoustic-y guitars, catchy songs and idiosyncratic lyrics. It is all very mellow, with great harmonies.

They have been going since 1992, releasing their first (self-titled) album in 1996. Their most recent album, Sun Dirt Water, was released in September this year. You can listen to (very short!) snippets from that at their website (you will find the music player to the top-ish right of your screen). But it would seem that they are little known outside of their native Australia. This is a great shame, in part due to the fact that they are, despite the album releases, essentially a live band.

For which reason I would recommend introducing yourselves to their music via the 2005 live recordings CD A Brief History. I know what you are CDs are often dreadful, right? In this case it conveys what they are about perfectly, containing 32 of their very best (and best loved songs) personal favourites being the two featured here, as well as The Waitress, Billy Jones and Gillian. It's a purchase I couldn't recommend more highly...I have even done some internet scouring - the cheapest I am able to find this album is at CD Wow, where it (at the time of writing this) is only £9.49. For a double CD with 32 tracks? BARGAIN!

Check them out...I challenge you to be disappointed!!

Below are a couple of their songs for the aural pleasure of you lucky buggers:

Video for London Still:

And a download of a wonderful song (any song with the line "You mean stuff to me" has got to be good):
Download 'Sweetness'
Although I can't find an MP3 or sample of the song The Waitress to share with you guys, here are the lyrics, to give you an idea of their quirky lyric-writing style:
I thought I’d move to Sydney to get a little piece
Of the city life they talk about in the 90’s
Where everyone I meet don’t want to know my name
They want to know what I do for a living
My songs don’t earn me money or fill my pockets with cash
Every time I go busking I make more in hash
Everything I want is getting further out of reach
Like that funky little apartment down on Bondi
I’ve been getting cozy with a Kiwi boy
He’d kill me if I said he was sweet as apple pie
He’s going to leave me and hit the road
He’s touring with the theater – if you see him say I said...
All the birthday money that my parents sent
Was spent on the phonebill and paying my rent
Frijole, guacamole anything you want
I’m working as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant


--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Yeah, i really dug that track so i'll make sure to scope these guys out and buy a record...

Divinyl said...

You listened to both 'London Still' and 'Sweetness'? You totally wouldn't regret buying a record...all their songs are of a really high standard. Maybe Amazon or somewhere has further samples you could listen to? Great band...I really don't understand why nobody seems to have heard of them!

Anonymous said...

I must admit,they are pretty dang cool!

Cuidado said...

I'm a huge Waifs fan and have all their albums except the new one. I'm waiting for it to be released here. I couldn't wait last album and have both the AU release which I got online then the CDN release because it had three bonus songs on it. I've seen them live both in Canada an Australia. F couple of songs on the live album I was in the audience

First time on your blog and you've got the waifs. Now I'll look further. Cheers.

Divinyl said...

Cuidado I am envious! I have never seen The Waifs live...I have known of them, and loved them, for about 3 years now, and they haven't toured in England in that time.

I, too, have not yet heard the new album, except for the brief clips on their website...can you not order it online?

I'm glad you like the blog, and I hope that there is more here that tickles your fancy :o) You are welcome any time! x

Cuidado said...

Even though they are giving only snippets of the songs on the website the video for sundirtwater is in it's entirety. It is expensive ordering it. I paid almost $50.00 for the one I ordered because I couldn't wait a few weeks then bought the CDN version anyway.

Divinyl said...

Ah, you are right...I hadn't realised that the album available on Amazon was an Australian import and therefore very expensive! Hmmm...they usually have a pre-order type service...which has set me to wondering if this album may only be available on import in the UK? I hope not!

I'll have another check about the online stores after Christmas methinks! x