Gareth Liddiard - Strange Tourist

Gareth Liddiard is kind of a Mozart figure in Australian Music. He’s immensely talented, yet receives no-where near the amount of commercial success he deserves. Strange Tourist captures Liddiard at his most intimate and bare. Through stripped back guitar and deeply poetic lyrics Strange Tourist is a window into Liddiard’s mind and soul. His voice is now his own and it is utterly breathtaking.

If Liddiard was a novelist he would be winning the Pulitzer Prize annually. Very few songwriters can convert such vivid landscapes to music, and even fewer do it with such sincerity. Strange Tourist requires the attention of every synapse in your brain to be fully appreciated but when it sucks you in, you’ll never want to let go. Liddiard’s numbers range from petit and timid to raucous and impetuous. Often exceeding five minutes in length, his compositions take you on a detailed journey through picturesque lyrical tales, accompanied only by gentle finger picking. Blondin Makes an Omelette tells the story of a suffering understudy of a tightrope walker. The Radicalisation of D is a 16 minute odyssey drenched in political contempt and angst, loosely inspired by the plight of David Hicks. Even when Liddiard lives vicariously through others, he shares the experience as if they are his own.

If Liddiard hasn’t already cemented his position as one of Australia’s greatest songwriters then this will surely do it. Critics are already heralding it as an Australian classic. Whist I don’t want to jump the gun and make such a statement, Strange Tourist is an absolutely stunning release. Album of the year contender – certainty.

- Scott Thompson

Album Details

Album Title: Strange Tourist
Artist: Gareth Liddiard
Record Label: ATP Recordings/Shock