Singer-songwriter Kathie Renner is the creative force behind Adelaide band Vincent’s Chair, which includes Sam Leske (guitar), Karen De Nardi (viola), Holly Thomas (percussion) and Shaun Duncan (double bass).
The group has achieved considerable success with tours to Europe and the UK, and recently released a fourth album, the new vibe.
From the initial acoustic guitar strumming of Leske and soothing viola of De Nardi on the first track, “He Said She Said”, Vincent’s Chair create a sound that is easy to listen to and relaxing. Add to that Renner’s Joni Mitchell-like bright, vibrant vocals and her interesting, playful lyrics with simple rhyming schemes and enough complexity and contradiction to amuse and entertain, and the album has a full and complete sound. Thomas’s deft percussive work and Duncan’s double bass add to an already rich sound.
In “Next in Line” there’s enough mystery in the lyrics to create a sense of wonder for the listener, while “The Gift” is delightfully pure and positive, achieved with just vocals, guitar and viola.
Renner’s lyrics explore relationships and contain some home-spun philosophy about finding strength as a human: in “One Door Closer”, the lyrics and rhythms are catchy and you find yourself singing along with the choruses.
For a small group, Vincent’s Chair creates a surprising variety of sounds. “This Room” begins with Thomas on djembe and there is a reflective, almost haunting quality as the lyrics and music encapsulate the sadness a room evokes when a broken relationship is remembered in that space. With some lively electric guitar, there is a bright, up-beat song, “Step on my Memory”, which combines the image of being immortalised in pavement with the concern of memories being stepped on.
The final, title track, “the new vibe”, has a sense of urgency with its use of only acoustic guitar and overtone of change being in the wind.
Vincent Chair’s the new vibe is a very pleasant album featuring quality musicians, toe-tapping tunes, syncopated rhythms, Kathie Renner’s melodious vocals and poetic lyrics that depict the roller-coaster nature of relationships.
Vincent’s Chair will be performing at Adelaide Airport on Friday as part of Music SA’s “This is SA Music” series.
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