Saddleback: Everything's a Love Letter
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CD / Digital
Design by Mark Gowing
Saddleback is the solo project for producer Tony Dupé. In many ways, with its warm and exploratory craft, Everything’s A Love Letter is the culmination of the varying strands in Tony’s musical life. Tony first came to notice in Glovebox, who put an ethereal, ambient twist on the indie-pop scene as far back as the early ‘90s. Glovebox’s swirling sound has been as unhurried as its release schedule, though no matter how spare their output, each album has always found a warm reception. The group were even invited to make a record with US independent music luminary Kramer, who at the time had already produced records for the likes of Low, Palace Brothers and Galaxie 500. As time went on, Tony would tinker with the Glovebox sound by using a rotating group of players with each recording and eventually started to produce records himself and sow the seeds for Saddleback. Tony moved some years ago into an old disused nunnery on the South Coast of NSW and into production, fashioning a recording studio within the huge 18-bedroom building. The relaxed vibe and Tony’s willingness to experiment with sound and song brought the likes of Bluebottle Kiss’ Jamie Hutchings, Tania Bowers (Via Tania) and The Sea & Cake’s Archer Prewitt to record albums. Saddleback Mountain is where Tony now resides and records nearby the now-sold nunnery. (Both The Woods Themselves’ and Holly Throsby’s debut albums being two of the newer projects to emerge from there). It was somewhere during this time that Tony started work on material for Saddleback. As Saddleback, Dupé has unanchored his atmospheric musings from Glovebox’s pop roots into new territory. Everything’s A Love Letter unfolds with small sonic gestures and gradually shifting layers of quiet sound, its fluttering, winding arrangements building into something altogether mesmerising. Blending guitar, piano, strings and brass into its mild electronic realm brings up compelling dimensions between classic composition and abstraction – a tender melodicism that draws on jazz, folk, pop and ambient electronica. Everything’s A Love Letter is a most elegant debut and indeed a unique one.