Brightly Painted One
As delicate as Nick Drake at his quietest, as serene as Joni Mitchell at her bluest, New Zealand singer/songwriter Hollie Fullbrook made ripples across the pond with her bewitching 2011 debut, Some Were Meant for Sea. Kudos, awards, and general buzz elevated the solo Tiny Ruins project to impressive heights, and readied the world for her sophomore release, Brightly Painted One. Adding a permanent drummer and bass player (upright and electric), the follow-up to Sea is as stunning as fans hoped it would be; Fullbrook’s impressionistic songs are now wreathed in soft, muted floor toms, holographic cymbal shimmers, and stealthy, grounding bass notes. Faint whispers of acoustic and electric guitar and supple strings buoy Fullbrook’s melancholy like a ghostly breeze, hardly noticeable at times but critical to the song’s flow and structure. There's something magical about Tiny Ruins, and it’s apparent from the first 60 seconds, when “Me at the Museum” finds the listener holding their breath in anticipation of something unnamed. You might exhale only when you realize that not breathing for 40 minutes just won’t do.