Ryan Prebble “Fruits”

9 September 2019

Remember the name Ryan Prebble. If this extraordinarily deep, soulful and sublime debut album is a guide,you’ll be hearing lots more from this New Zealandsinger-songwriter. Prebble certainly has the pedigree to achieve greatthings – he’s the brother of the accomplished producer Lee(Black Seeds, Phoenix Foundation, Fly My Pretties, Fat Freddy’s etal) and well-immersed in the Capitol mafia that has dominated NewZealand music for the past few years – and in “Fruits” thistalent is undoubtedly played out.

Opening with thetheremin-induced weirdness of “Escaping the Blue,” the albumdrifts like a paddle through the mysterious eddies of a Louisiana swamp;it is a soulful, mournful and atmospheric collection of bluegrass, bluesand pop-folk enveloped in introspection. Prebble’s searching voiceis impressive, as is his playing, and nestled in tight production.

What impresses me most about “Fruits” is itscompleteness. Each track commands attention, yet does not demand it; oneis drawn to listen to the entire album.

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Subsequently, it’s hard topick favorites from this bunch, but if pushed, the mid-album trilogy ofthe smoky blues “Sun in Your Eyes,” upbeat hillbilly ditty“Coming Along,” and the acoustic title track are strongcontenders. Moody, brooding and magnificent, these “Fruits”deserve to be picked.

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