There’s nothing like a homegrown, multifaceted artist who lives and breathes music. At the age of 19, Fingal Head based virtuoso, Budjerah, released an incredible body of work in his debut self-titled EP, Budjerah. A combination of gospel, soul, pop and RnB, Budjerah is comprised of four songs that take the very best of their genres and use them to introduce a young artist with an old soul.
Two of the EP’s tracks, ‘Missing You’ and ‘Higher’, have previously been released as singles. In the context of the EP, both songs help set the tone of a timeless and passionate collection of soulful tunes. Budjerah’s vocals are a force to be reckoned with. They’re smooth and gloss over each sound and instrument with a richness far beyond his years. It’s something that Budjerah is aware of. When reflecting on the recording process, Budjerah says:
“In my music, I think of how I'm going to use my voice as an instrument before the melody and anything else.”
And rightfully so. At the same time, Matt Corby’s production on the EP is immaculate. Sonically, there’s traces of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It’s clear that Corby understands Budjerah and the sounds that define him. Each instrument used and each sound/beat chosen to decorate them are expertly crafted around Budjerah’s voice and passionate lyricism. ‘I’d rather just let the rain fall / then have to make the sun go shine’ Budjerah croons over a piano on the EP’s third track, ‘Shoulda Coulda’. It’s the slowest song in the tracklist. But it allows Budjerah to take the listener to church and have them be lost in the music.
"I grew up singing Sam Cooke and listening to gospel singers like The Clark Sisters. My dad taught me how to sing and that's the kind of music that has been around since I was little," says Budjerah.
‘Pyro’ closes out the EP. Of all the tracks, ‘Pyro’ is the most intimate as Budjerah pleads with the song’s subject to ‘take off the mask’. Here, the young artist rounds out the journey of the EP as he bares his heart for the listener to see. It’s a key ingredient that all gospel and soul songs use, but Budjerah takes a tested trope and successfully reuses it from a youthful perspective.
To sum it up, Budjerah is not just an EP. It’s a mature and powerful statement made by a rising star who’s here to stay.