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Customer Reviews

Review by Declan Kelly

'Sometimes, from right underneath you, comes a record so honest that at first you find it confronting. After multiple listens, that honesty is what you desire, the bare vulnerability of the songs is what you crave and becomes the factor that separates that record from the hundreds of others that are unleashed upon the world every day. There is undeniable youth to Nick Huggins 'Shipwreck LP', a collection of songs, varied in their mood, recorded by the sea during a ten month sea-change in 2006/07. Whilst there are no sea shanties on the Shipwreck LP - one of Huggins' protagonists does, at one point, imagine himself as a sea breeze, far above everything - there is a lovely lilt to this whole album that could be attributed to the indubitable calm of the ocean. 'Paddock On Fire' brings to mind the slow glare of summer, Australia's flat landscape of dreams and wistful imaginings, all bordered by the great body of water embedded in our national psyche. The delicate and sparse 'Madeline' follows on from the frenetic, anthemic 'Movie We Made' where teenagers pash outside their family home and etch their initials on one another's hearts. The transition is not jarring. But this is not a record by children for children. The quota of tension and release is way too high for that. To write such honest songs, to make pensive, tense instrumentals like the Shipwreck's closer Big Jacket, to flay oneself open like Nick Huggins has, one needs to have moved through youth, undertaken some degree of processing, and have arrived at the bitter sweet spitting out part. And this is surely lover's spit; Perhaps different from the Lover's Spit that Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew is alluding to but nevertheless, there is fondness, tenderness, memory, love, confusion, joy and sadness in these songs. In 'Weightless Image' our character asks "I wonder what would it be like to accomplish one great thing?" Maybe that fiction will never know that but I think Nick Huggins can stop wondering and get used to that feeling. It will surely find him again in the future.' Declan Kelly

Shipwreck, Nick Huggins
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