Capping off a busy 2009 for the
Brisbane songstress comes ĎAll You Caní, her third EP.
Initially conceived when Simmons set herself the challenge of
writing a song a week for six weeks (one was eventually discarded),
this latest five-track effort marks a real development in her
songwriting. Opener and standout cut The Fundamentalist
features nicely layered instrumentation, including some tastefully
restrained banjo courtesy of the multi-talented Simmons, before the
vocals build and eventually burst in an ecstatic crescendo of
harmonies and staccato strings.
All You Can veers into
electronica with its playfully interacting synth and vocal lines,
but itís on the more organic numbers where the songwriting really
shines. The lilting and tender Rosemary is a soothing
acoustic take on the traditional ballad with a strong coda that
saves it from becoming maudlin, and the remaining two tracks are
likewise enjoyable and accomplished, particularly the energetic and
poppy I Cannot be Saved.
All in all this strong and impressively
tuneful release somehow manages to be lush and restrained at the
same time. Clever, catchy and neatly layered with intersecting
lines of banjo and cello, Simmons heartfelt tunes will hold great
appeal to fans of pared-back songwriting and delicately varied
instrumentation. A homegrown talent definitely worth keeping your