Steve Kilbey – Sydney Rococo review

For fans of emotive adult orientated rock, with thoughtful, inspired lyrics and sweetly dark melodies.  8/10Steve Kilbey

Steve Kilbey, one of Australia’s most loved artists, and founder of 80’s psychedelic jangly rock  monsters The Church releases his latest solo album, Sydney Rococo, on Friday, November 23rd as he celebrates the 30th anniversary of Starfish with a worldwide tour.

This is a collection of songs Kilbey has written over the last 5 years and is an homage to his chosen home of Sydney, Steve Kilbey reflects on Sydney Rococo,

“Sydney Rococo is my Sydney filtered thru lush orchestras and sighing voices. The summers the dreams the vegetation always pushing skywards. The inexorable rush of love and the deep chasm of loneliness. Songs about things that happened and things that never could have happened. Songs for a banker or for a tramp. Songs about the seediness and the sea. Songs of Sydney morning and Sydney night.”

The symphonic Sydney Rococo opens with strings and a wistful tone, despite the years the whimsical magic has not faded and this is a delight of easily accessible soft rock.

Distant Voices
is lush with its depth of gentle acoustic guitar, piano and a slow psychedelic percussion in a vein akin to Riders on the Storm and it is a groovily dark lullabye. The pace quickens to the brisk strut of When I Love Her She Sings, the organically jangly guitars and desire within this track could have easily appeared on a The Church album of the past. Nineveh is a beautiful track which alternates between an almost spoken-word/ rap (its non-aggressive, more poetic than rap) and a deliciously feel good melodic chorus which is a little overtly dominated by violins towards the end (for me). A sublime rolling piano melody opens the melancholy The Wrong One, pared back, sparse and emotional, it would be easy to get lost in the atmosphere created. Oriental atmospherics and a somewhat mystical groove are the prevalent themes of Achilles Heals. A Night Is Coming  is a driving psych-pop anthem. Then Sydney Morocco lulls us with an intricate, delicate acoustic riff which incorporates Eastern elements, percussion and electric twangs in a hedonistic instrumental undulation. Masterfully produced, headphones are highly recommended for the full effect, you will not regret it. The Lonely City is another delightfully melancholy and wry up-tempo driving rock and roll track while  Lagoon is again string orientated, which distracts from the darker elements of both lyrics and melody. Traitor Signals draws our affair to a close with a piano driven ballad, musing and reminiscing but leaving you somewhat stranded.

If you long for true songwriters that can create emotional attachments and transport you into your own love hate relationship with the city of your choice, this is perfection. For fans of emotive adult orientated rock, with thoughtful, inspired lyrics and sweetly dark melodies.

Sydney Rococo is available to order now here

Track Listing
Sydney Rococo
Distant Voiced
When I Love Her She Sings
The Wrong One
Achilles Heals
A Night Is Coming
Sydney Morocco
The Lonely City
Traitor Signals

Each Monday The Metal Report sends out a list of all stories, interviews, reviews and features we’ve posted for the previous week. You can sign up for it here