Laura Collins: One Feather at a Time
By Tony Parker
Wellington's roots/reggae/dub sound has a deserved reputation nationwide but look beyond that and another capital city roots scene is quietly establishing itself. Americana influenced country, folk and blues form the backbone of this scene and it is from here that Laura Collins draws her inspiration. Collins' new album focuses on the relationships between friends and lovers, often in waltz time, and has echoes, both lyrically and vocally, of recent work by singer/songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter and Caitlin Cary. It is to Collins' credit then that in the main her songs and vocals are up to that standard, although she is less convincing when attempting to rock it up a little. Providing the mainly acoustic backing are the likes of ex-Warratahs bassist Clint Brown and multi- instrumentalist Simon Burgess, while guitarist Matt Newman's arrangements work well in this context. Emotive and intimate, 'One Feather at a Time' is a Kiwi slice of alt country (if there is such a thing) that deserves to find an audience amongst Americana listeners.