26 September 2023

Shout Into The Noise

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Ash Grunwald, Bloodlines Records 2022.

Ash Grunwald has been one of Australia’s most consistent roots/blues artists for many years.

He’s released eleven studio albums, eight of which have been solo, three were collaborations, seven albums have charted in the ARIA Albums Charts, and six have been nominated for ARIAs, plus he’s won two APRA Awards.

His latest release is Shout Into The Noise, and I think it’s one of his best.

His highest-ranking album to date has been his 2020 collaboration with Josh Teskey, Push The Blues Away which reached number eight on the charts and his highest solo effort was Trouble’s Door (2012) which reached number 29.

While these albums are wonderful, I’m firmly of the belief that Shout Into The Noise will top both of them.

Shout Into The Noise is the most personal album that Ash has released.

The album was produced by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/producer Lachlan Bostock (Mansionair) and it sees Ash push himself into new territory.

His personal life and family become the focus for the songs.

Ash is a family man and consequently he’s often away from them while touring and it’s this tension that provides much of the lyrical focus.

The album opens with the title track which is a sparse slow burner that introduces the personal and introspective viewpoint.

The slow tempo and space left in the song allows us to ponder upon the subject matter.

It’s followed by the first single, I Want To Know, which starts with Ash saying goodbye to his children as he heads out on the road.

I Want You To Know is his song about the pain of leaving the family every time he tours.

It’s a familiar emotion for all travelling musicians but something they must learn to live with for the sake of their career.

The production on this album is very crisp and definitely a step up in class from his earlier material.

Lachlan Bostock certainly knows how to wring the emotion out of every utterance and note that Ash squeezes from his guitar.

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