Tex Perkins' Dark Horses - Sweet Nothing - 2003
To discerning fans of Australian music, the work of Tex Perkins holds pride of place. In the popularity stakes, there have been number one albums, ARIA Awards aplenty, and a litany of unforgettable live performances that are the stuff of local rock & roll folklore.
More recently, beyond the rebel rousing status earned from fronting seminal outfits such as The Cruel Sea and The Beasts Of Bourbon, Tex's solo records (1996's Far Be It From Me and 2000's Dark Horses) have revealed a more intimate side of the artist: That of an emotive singer/songwriter, an acoustic guitar strumming balladeer with a voice that delivers its message in a whisper rather than a roar.
And now, Sweet Nothing.
On the creative side of things, Tex has changed everything with Sweet Nothing, moved, as the artist himself puts it, from "portraiture to landscape". "To me, this isn't another journey to the interior, this feels like… standing on the outside…looking out.".
Songs come across like dreams, smoke signals from the subconscious. But their sound, you'll soon discover for yourself, is as broad and textured as the outback.
Much of the credit for the vast vision of Sweet Nothing, Tex hastens to point out, goes to The Dark Horses, the band that came together following the release of the album of the same name. For SWEET NOTHING is not really another solo recording at all. It is, in fact, the debut release by Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses.
"The Dark Horses features the divine and sublime talents of Joel Silbersher (bass) and Charlie Owen (guitar, keyboards), Tendrils by another name. Then there's Tex's closest collaborator of recent years, Murray Patterson (guitarist), and the most recent addition to the outfit, Skritch (drums).
Together, in various configurations as well as a whole, the five men each contributed to the songwriting of SWEET NOTHNG. As a performing ensemble, it's as if their combined talents have invented a new type of music that appears to physically grow as you listen on.
As always, there's a self-assuredness that shines even through apparent despair, such as on the rather direct lament of "Days Like These". But more than just coming on like Tex unplugged, The Dark Horses also show they can crank it up when it comes to the atmospherics stakes in songs like "Lucid" and "A Name On Every One", which sound more suited to a rock stadium than the backyard.
Sweet Nothing is a work of incredible beauty and delicacy. A major new work by one of the most distinctive vocalists and performers this country has ever produced.
01. A Hair Of The God
02. Midnight Sunshine
04. Cold Feet
05. Great Apes
07. Days Like These
08. Hang On To My Love
09. This Wind
10. A Name On Every One
11. Everything Or Nothing