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Review: Chambers listens to 'little bird'

Kasey Chambers, "Little Bird" (Sugar Hill)
/ Source: The Associated Press

Kasey Chambers, "Little Bird" (Sugar Hill)

With a girlish voice and weakness for songs that put an aching vulnerability on display, Australian country rocker Kasey Chambers sometimes seems a little delicate.

That history lends extra power to the title cut of her new disc. Chambers sings of a "little bird" who tells her she might get her man back "if I shut my mouth and don't make a scene" or suppress her individuality in some other way.

She eventually concludes: "I don't want you that bad." It's a strong statement of empowerment and a terrific song, too. The flip side is it takes the wind out of low self-esteem songs like "Invisible Girl," where she's another nowhere girl pining for love.

Chambers resembles a junior version of Lucinda Williams in the "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" era. That's not to diminish her; Lucinda sets a pretty high standard. Chambers' band crackles, moving easily between mandolins and crunching electric guitars. She writes solid songs and deserves a bigger following here.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: We like Chambers best when displays what's unique about her. In this case, it's "Nullarbor (The Biggest Backyard)," where she sings of her unconventional childhood growing up in an Australian wilderness area.