Bertie Blackman is the archetype underdog. She’s an ARIA winner who has performed for years on the Sydney circuit, but is yet to see any substantial commercial success.
Hopefully this will all change with the release of her fifth album, ‘The Dash’. It’s a short collection but it certainly leaves an impact.
First single ’Run For Your Life’ is stunning. It’s commercial synth pop that is overwhelmingly euphoric.
Of the remaining eight tracks, it’s a predominantly electronic affair… New single ‘Kingdom of Alone’ is an ethereal builder with a haunting ‘I’m not lonely but I’m alone’ refrain. ‘Beams’ is a straight-up electro dance number, whereas ‘Strangers In A Moment’ is a bit edgier.
Given that the album is heavy on the synths, the 1980s are an obvious reference point. ‘Minute by Minute’ could easily sit alongside early Madonna or Belinda Carlisle whilst ‘War of One’ has an INXS–esque guitar riff alongside a great chorus.
The best ’80s moment belongs to ‘Dancing Into Trouble’, which almost reminds us of ‘Died In Your Arms’ by the Cutting Crew. It’s the kind of song you could happily dance to in the pub or by yourself with nobody watching.
The other two tracks are a bit more modern; ‘Tear It Down’ starts off pop before launching into a dreamy synth-pop chorus whilst ‘Darker Days’ employs rock guitar to provide some contrast to the rest of the record.
Whilst nothing really tops ‘Run For Your Life’, ‘The Dash’ is a cohesive and glamorous album. It harkens back to a period where just the tone of someone’s voice could put you into a certain mood.
Indeed, Bertie’s voice is more than capable of giving us the feels.
Download : Run For Your Life, Dancing Into Trouble.