Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Inspired instrumental Folk / Rock / Jazz from Dirty Three

Dirty Three are a trio from Melbourne, Australia who play amazing, evocative instrumental music. The band has ties to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, having performed with him and having shared Warren Ellis, Dirty Three’s violinist (who also plays piano, bouzouki, guitar, flute, and mandolin). Their sound is all their own, though. The songs are mostly patient, pretty, and emotional – almost melancholy. They range from mellow Folk to energetic Rock and there is a heavy Jazz influence to most of what they do.

I don't know what the disc title, cover art, and music have to do with each other.

I don't know what the disc title, cover art, and music have to do with each other.

I have to confess, I am not familiar (yet) with their early work, which I understand was more experimental than what they’ve done recently. I found and love their latest album, Cinder, from 2006. In addition to being a gorgeous album, it’s a good value as a purchase. Some of the tracks are short, but there are 19 songs on the album and they total over 70 minutes of music.

Here are five that live on my iPod. Sadly, none of the Dirty Three songs on YouTube are ones I picked from Cinder. Here are links to samples on Amazon.

  • Ever Since – The guitar work is steady, but the drums and violin swell and sink throughout the piece.
  • Dream Evie – A slow and pretty melody featuring plucked acoustic guitar that almost sounds like mandolin, an easy beat, and heart-breaking violin work.
  • This Night – This has a similar feel to the last one, but it feels more like a summer Sunday afternoon to me. Though I guess they were shooting for a summer night.
  • Ember – The guitar here is electric, but gently strummed and undistorted. The chord progression and the energetic violin work have an almost heavy feel to them. The song builds for most of its two minutes. It’s a powerfully evocative song.
  • Doris – An unexpected rocker on this album that features a jangling guitar riff and bagpipes, believe it or not. In fact, this is probably the only song featuring bagpipes I have ever recommended.

You may be familiar with the band Low. They play what is called “slowcore” music and it truly is slower than the coming of spring. In 2001 Low and Dirty Three released a collaboration called In the Fishtank that was a great blend of their two styles. I’ll briefly recommend you check it out today, but it may get its own post in the future.



June 23, 2009 - Posted by | Folk, Jazz, Rock, Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. I was first introduced to the dirty three by my friend, mr. yow, who sang for a well known chicago-based indie band. he told me “this is the only band that made me cry”. given that the dirty three are instrumental, those are some high praises, and he was absolutely right.

    Comment by Uncle Rockie | June 27, 2009 | Reply

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