City Oh Sigh – Fragments Fine album review

 Wellington’s extremely accomplished chamber folk quartet; City Oh Sigh release their first full length album, Fragments Fine – and it’s a breath-taking beauty. Lead songwriter, singer and cellist Kate has a magical way with her beautiful notes; expertly catching and playing with the pitches and tones creating something special and reminding you of what a joy it is to listen to a truly talented vocalist at work.

This album is the anti-shuffle; sweetly and thoughtfully created with a real narrative about it, especially thanks to the gentle rising horn section on opener and single – Sometimes which leads you on down the album’s path. By the way City Oh Sigh’s debut music video for Sometimes, created by video and animation production house National Park; is incredible and highly recommended to animation / stop-motion / experimental film nerds! Get ye’ to YouTube, post haste!

Regretfully, any trip into a Westfield Mall at the moment heralds on billboards and signage that ‘floral grunge is trending’; and while comparison is the theft of joy it’s been said, this somewhat dubious trend title contains one of the aspects that was dear to my adolescence…grunge. City Oh Sigh bring those ol’ grungy feelings back for me, a pared down, effortlessly cool and sparse initial impression that on repeated listens rewards with layers of skilled musicianship.
Think Mazzy Star through a cleaner, clearer production sound; or perhaps even Tanya Donnelly and ‘Feed the Tree’ era Belly. How Long and Hold On are particular album highlights; but also Last Season which plays perfectly in our autumnal onset, mellow on the ears like a warm sun-shower dusting your shoulders. Great melodies, great harmonies; Fragments Fine is a tight and tidy ten tracks that invoke feelings of love, devotion and realisation.



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