Like many other artists, Blue Mallee has used his experiences from previous projects to help him create music that is just his own. As much as his time as the frontman for Master Tiger Band was special to him, he wanted to create songs that were his own. As he began his journey as a solo artist, he showcased what he had to offer with singles such as “Rocks and Cattle” and “Never Really Coming Back”.
Blue Mallee has used these singles and other tracks to create his debut EP Shout That Whisper. Assembling the EP was a challenge, as he had so many songs that were so special to him. After some tough decisions and a little help from his producers, he assembled his new EP. He says that he is proud of those selected as it is “a nice balance of a few directions I can take my sound although I think I will always be an artist that likes to take multiple pathways in the name of good art. I think it’s a great collection of songs that keeps the listener guessing”.
The first track chosen to open up Shout That Whisper is “Never Really Coming Back”. It opens up with a blend of guitar and gentle harmonica to help set the mood. It combines to create an instrumental beginning that lasts almost a full minute. Afterwards, the story begins with, “Don’t let her fool you with her twisted games / Don’t let the tide turn, swimming in the rain”. As it continues, the electric guitar has a low-fi vibe and adds so much to his story. He effortlessly shares his story with his voice. Its tone stands out further as he closes the song with the repeated lines, “So you better set your sights, set your sights, set your sights / On those moonlit seas tonight”.
Next up is “Horizon”, a short instrumental break before “Shout That Whisper” arrives. As it begins, it has a different feel from the opening track. The music and vocals are cleaner, which lets the listener appreciate Blue’s way with words. The verses flow in a delicate manner before the hook hits it home. When the chorus arrives, the delivery is impactful and memorable. It makes you want to sing along to, “Pull that trigger, skies don’t mirror / Cuz it gets too shady in a moonlight night / Slipping made easy, please be advised / Shout that whisper, don’t you linger”. He slows it down when it is used later in the song. As he does, each word sounds almost spoken. But, he ensures it still packs a punch when he shares, “Shout that whisper, don’t you linger”.
“GO!” is dedicated to musicians trying to make sense of things and influenced by a poem by Brian Harris. It has more of a punchy mood compared to the other tracks. The guitar intro has an alt-rock feel, also mirrored by the drums. Yet again, his storytelling quality stands out. From its opening lines, “I was serving coffee on an 8-hour shift / when she came in and asked me for directions and said / ‘do you get around boy?”, to its hook and to the song’s finale. The soundtrack is equally as memorable. It gets even better as these two qualities blend during the bridge. His voice delivers a softer moment with the repeated lines, “Cause music it’s in your blood / And poetry’s in your soul”.
As you listen to “Rocks and Cattle”, you hear his excellent storytelling qualities at work. His words paint so many scenes, which lines such as, “Work the land, work the land, work the land and grow / It’ll pay, it’ll pay, it’ll pay you back”, and “I could have been what you needed then / Like an unstoppable storm unleashing its rain” standing out. However, a lot of credit has to go to his exceptional vocal talents. The delivery and the emotions help bring his words to life. It is a combination that has impressed as the EP began and will continue to do so until its finale.
If you are looking for great storytelling and beautiful soundtracks within your music, then Shout That Whisper by Blue Mallee is for you!
Closing out the EP comes “Take Me Somewhere Into The Wind”. Like “GO!” is another standout moment. It was recorded during a covid lockdown live stream. He was happy with how it sounded, so it became included with the release. There is so much about this song that deserves the praise it will receive. As it begins, it pulls in the listener with its soothing tone. A feeling mirrored when he delivers the opening lines, “Take me somewhere into the wind / Turn the page inside your head”.
His voice oozes so much emotion and is the ingredient that makes this track special. There are so many moments when this ability excels even more. For example, the delivery of the lines, “Wasteful years, unbelieving / Sidetracks, cool breathe, heaving”. Also, how he ends his story with, “And take me somewhere into the wind / Will we meet again? / For we only just got here”. The hidden star of the song is his harmonica which sounds sublime throughout. It features as things come to a close. As Shout That Whisper comes to its end, it completes a beautiful collection of songs that reinforce the songwriting and vocal talents that Blue Mallee possesses. It is an EP that is essential listening.