DAMIEN BINDER: While The Wind’s At Your Back
By Amanda Mills
Now Sydney-based, Damien Binder’s third album finds the former Auckland singer and songwriter still in reflective mood. Binder had a nightmare experience with this album, his band splitting up on the eve of the recording, and his producer becoming ill for an extended period at the same time. Out of stress can come inspiration, and he wrote much of this material while waiting for events to settle down. He uses themes of memory, loss and hope, while the music runs the gamut of acoustic, indie-rock and singer/songwriter pop. Binder has a definite knack for writing unobtrusively catchy tunes and melodic hooks are everywhere on this album, especially on Take Me Under and Breathing. While understated, his voice is warm and engaging, managing to be both familiar and unknown at the same time. Binder and his band (Bob Shepheard on bass, guitar, keyboards and Jared Harrison on drums), have produced an album that could sit among the best ‘songwriter’ albums of the NZ music canon.