GAV BROWN SOUND CIRCUS

Perth-based singer-songwriter Gavin Brown is a man of many sounds: guitar, banjo, piano, harmonica, mandolin, and ukulele among them. True to that formidable repertoire, debut LP Sound Circus showcases its creator’s immense musicality, along with a host of other treats. It’s an album of absorbing warmth and welcome, which seems to radiate most of all from Brown’s cavernous and richly textured voice. ‘Artist Dream’ opens proceedings with gauzy whimsy; “crazy fun awaits” in the mandolin-piloted ‘Send in the Clowns’, while the infectious ‘Lightforce’ recalls, winningly, both Midnight Oil and Santana. Intoxicating folk jaunt ‘Libby’ shimmers beneath the stage lights, while there’s a smouldering country-rock chug in ‘Greatest Player’. Rustic banjo and classic country strumming and percussion ground sweet love song ‘Take Care of Me’, while the Dobro-lacquered ‘Last Dance’ is a tonic for weary souls. Above all, Sound Circus is the manifesto of an artist with a showman’s gift for setting an inviting scene. Gareth Hipwell