I've seen Laura Jean, (Australian Folk Indie Rocker), play support a couple of times in Newcastle over the last few years. First with Courtney where she returned later with Courtney to sing rather lovely harmonies on an altogether special cover of The Go Betweens Streets of Your Town.
Then in May 2019 with Aldous Harding. We had a really great chat afterwards and she was very gracious and friendly. But enough of the support stuff on It Starts for Laura Jean. She has a new album out, called Amateurs.
And it's really something quite splendid, notwithstanding a slightly awful album sleeve with an extremely amateurish portrait of Laura, some kind of bird and a microphone for some reason. Disregarding this. it has numerous very alluring selling points.
It's been on constant rotation on my place for the best par of a day at my place, a sure sign in itself. Immediately recognisable to anybody already wedded to the quirky vision of Courtney and Aldous without being indebted to either.
But there's something else here too. Something unmistakable. The beautiful classical grace of the string arrangements which bring back the timeless feel of Nick Drakes' Five Leaves Left and most of all Laurel Canyon Joni Mitchell.
This is certainly Remembrance of Things Past, The first words of the record are 'When I was seventeen.' As the record spins you realise you're in the company of something of a classic. From innocence to experience.
This album probably won't get the attention I deserves. That happens. For me it puts her in the company of Courtney and Aldous. It's that good. Make sure you hear it.