Cameron Avery: Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams

He's basically West Australian musical royalty, but can the king croon?

- Mum listened to Michael Bublé for a fair chunk of my childhood. Weekends around home were the site crooning mid-noughties hits like Home and Try A Little Tenderness were etched into my developing brain. Cameron Avery’s Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams opens with a strangely similar vibe.

It certainly isn't offensive, easy listening music isn’t by definition, but close your eyes and the strings on Do You Know Me By Heart could teleport you to a postcard-white New York Christmas. I’ve never seen Love Actually in its entirety but with lines like “It’s not you, it’s me” I imagine this song could slot well into a soundtrack should a reboot ever emerge.

Citing old records by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as influences, the record shouldn’t be a shock for those following its release. The first single, C’est Toi, is a saccharine love song set to a jumpy piano in which Avery declares repeatedly “It’s you.” (An english translation of the title kindly provided by Avery for those of us without a French degree). Anyone who has only seen the Perth native’s name appear on earlier projects may be slightly surprised.

Avery’s CV is tied intimately to West Australian music royalty. He’s appeared in Tame ImpalaPOND, a whacky two-man expedition with fellow Tame Impalian Nicholas Allbrook in Allbrook/Avery, and The Growl – a distortion-soaked project born of Avery himself.

No apologies are made that this is a record by a young man about finding love and failed relationships. Dance With Me, offers an injection of country-blues swagger that doesn’t quite stick. “Give me half a chance cause you’re due for some romance.” The second single off the album, Wasted On Fidelity, oozes a particular kind of charm. "Wasted wealth / On the bored things / Those entertaining mornings with what's-her-face."

Avery has recently supported the likes of Last Shadow Puppets and Father John Misty and throughout the guts of the album it shows. The full folk sound of FJM is an obvious influence, though Avery doesn’t quite have the same lyrical wit or obnoxious irony. It’s strange hearing this kind of music made in earnest.

Watch Me Take It Away is Avery at his most recognisable. Fuzzy guitars, distorted vocals, jungle drums. Elvis Presley-esque vocal flourishes. The track finds a point between The Growl and the crooners Avery is channelling what feels most like new ground.

Basing himself in LA the last two years appears to have had an impact on Cameron Avery. Hollywood is ripe with, how do you say it, clichés? (I think that’s French for “not quite”.)

- Matt Dennien.

Album Details

Album Title: Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Artist: Cameron Avery
Record Label: (Spinning Top / ANTI- / Warner)