Chris Gillespie and the Wandering Hands – Unnatural Light.


Chris Gillespie and supporting musicians Matt Luciano and Ben Hazlett (aka the Wandering Hands) are a Sydney threesome producing some very mellow Australian roots tunes and just released  a new album ‘Unnatural Light’ last November.

With a title that reads like a dodgy newspaper article, I can understand  why Chris Gillespie dropped the support band from their name since their last release. Luckily, despite the name change their sound is still as mellow as ever and the new album is simply awesome.

Lead singer Chris Gillespie delivers a great solo performance on the vocals throughout the album. His crisp clear voice is really easy to listen to, and the evident ‘occa’ twang adds some character that allows you to feel a bit more of a connection to the music. His lyrics are very realistic, mainly about the struggles of life, and with no disrespect are slightly depressing at times.

Instrumentally, the band keeps most tracks nice and simple, usually just some percussion and a guitar/mandolin and is more than effective. Having said that, they do mix it up with an awesome harmonica work, some finger clicking, and the impressive harmonies by Luciano and Hazlett. In fact, purely relating to the music, it reminds me a bit of the simple tracks that underpinned Hank Williams amazing voice only 70 years earlier.

‘Autumn Winds’ is the track that stands out the most to me. It also illustrates my point about the depressing lyrics about life’s difficulties, and manages to convey both the amazing harmonies by Luciano and Hazlett and the use of harmonica. The best thing about this song is the guitar work by Luciano, who plays a plucky enjoyable solo around the 1 minute mark before the harmonica kicks in for some support. Its just a simple and effective little number, that I can almost envision being used in advertising. Just a great chilled listen.

‘Unnatural Light’ is out now, and you can listen to it in full on their bandcamp page, or catch them live in the Blue Mountains next month.

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