As the main songwriter for the wonderful The Bats, Robert Scott needs no introduction (read my recent interview with him). Scott has partnered with Dallas Henley, Scott’s co-owner of an Art Gallery – Pea Sea Art – in Port Chalmers Dunedin, to release a very low-fi and extremely intimate collection of absolutely gorgeous songs. Both are artists in their own right in addition to the musical talents very much on display in this collection, as well as members of a covers band The Moreporks.
The sound is raw, on the verge of collapse at times, but so sweet and melodic. The opening instrumental ‘Claude’ sets the scene: plucking strings and bubbling bass and a repeating riff. It jangles and sparkles with an acoustic thrum, and a distant woo-hooing the only vocal interlude. Utterly raw, utterly charming.
Scott and Henley’s collective ears for the sweetest of melodies is magnificent throughout the fourteen tracks. In this sense,’Level 4′ provides exactly the same sort of joy and satisfaction you could get from The Bats – just without the electronic instruments, engineering and mastering sheen and percussion.
And the low-fi rawness creates a sense of intimacy and warmth. Every single tune recorded on this album is a gem and could be, in another world, a best selling single – there’s beautiful nuanced melodies, an ineffable charm and the usual romantically infused and wistful lyrics.
You can get the album through the link below (and don’t forget Bandcamp Friday on 5 March 2021 from midnight US Pacific time when it’s fee free for artists):
‘Level 4’ was recorded live in Roseneath, Dunedin on a Samsung (March-June 2020).
Dallas Henley- Bass and Omnichord on “Rattled”
Robert Scott- Guitar, Vocals and Keyboards on “Stay Home”.