BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Australia’s Darren Hanlon boasts a resume that’s littered with notable names — the Lucksmiths, Ladybug Transistor, the Dearhunters , and Mick Thomas, leader of Weddings, Parties, Anything, among them. His last album, and first to get widespread release here in the States — I Will Love You At All — demonstrated that for all his ability as a sideman and support player, he’s more than able when carrying the banner on his own. His new album, Where Did You Come From? asks a question that many of those unaware will no doubt be asking, especially since the disc’s folk-like tunefulness and sweetly swaying ways make it a sure shot to win some instant attachment.
And although it begins on a somewhat quirky note – the playful bounce and recurring rhymes of “Salvation Army” seems a strange way to start — once things proceed, Hanlon’s sublime vocals and easy way with a melody find just the right means of channeling his charms. On songs such as “Fear of the Civil War,” “Awkward Dancer” and “Letter from an Australian Mining Town,” his tone and timbre brings to mind a once familiar folkie like Al “Year of the Cat” Stewart, although his tongue-in-cheek pontificating on “The Chatanooga Shoot Shoot” does suggest some Dylanesque satire. Twelve years after initiating his solo career, Hanlon’s decidedly ready for primetime, and if nothing else, Where Did You Come From? will have lots of folks eagerly inquiring about an answer.
DOWNLOAD: “Fear of the Civil War,” “Awkward Dancer,” “Letter from an Australian Mining Town”