Corn Nut Creek is a country-folk duo from Australia who recently released their debut EP. The album is a unique mix of country-folk songs with soulful melodies, original Appalachian-style tunes and hard fiddle-driven Bluegrass. The music features the artful banjo work of Tanya Bradley, paired with the deft fiddle work and soulful lilting vocals of Danielle Vita.
Melbourne-based Tanya and Sydney-based New York-native Danielle first met nine years ago in Hong Kong, playing together in the Dulcet Tone Collective, a modern five-piece folk orchestra. They have been performing, collaborating and writing music together for the greater part of 10 years. Their songs tell raw stories of womanhood, which are transporting, honest and effortless.
Feels Like Travelling Home is a collection of five fresh, original folk tracks. It includes heartfelt odes to young motherhood (‘Baby Blue’ and ‘Belong to You’), and upbeat instrumentals (‘Chicken in the Kitchen / Harper & Louis’). Other tracks, such as ‘The House is Falling Down’ and ‘Nowhere to Go’ continue in the bluegrass and Americana folk music traditions.
The first track, The House Is Falling Down, offers a glimpse into a fractured home. There are images of wet clothes on the line for days. The bleakness is compounded by the idea that a working household is a machine with gears that have rusted. This track is heavy with pain and the guilt, and after it ends, the melody lingers.
Baby Blue, by stark contrast, is an uplifting ode to the intoxicating scent of a newborn and the ecstasy of unconditional love. This song, with its jaunty banjo and soothing fiddle, is all about a mother and child growing together, and the joy of coming face to face with your child.
Chicken in the Kitchen / Harper & Louis is the instrumental interlude – the kind you want to dance around the kitchen to. It’s an important one – Bradley claims it as her favourite from the collection as it’s interwoven with an abundance of happy memories. Belong To You is rich and soulful, while Nowhere To Go borrows from traditional country.
The tight harmonies throughout this album are reflective of the deep friendship Bradley and Vita share. It’s remarkable how just two instruments can produce such a full and compelling sound, but it’s truly a testament to the talents of Tanya Bradley and Danielle Vita that a simple fiddle, banjo and vocal trio make this EP complete. The EP offers a fresh take on Americana and bluegrass music, and it’s a palette cleanser in the midst of an industry overwhelmed by the modern trends of country-pop and country-rock. On first listen, the masterful musicianship combined with light, versatile vocals is reminiscent of Alison Krauss’ collaborations with Union Station. But listen closer, and you’ll hear how unique the music of Corn Nut Creek really is.