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Joe McKee

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The Darling Ranges lie about 35 km’s south of Perth, Western Australia. The drive is mostly highway, fairly droll until you start actually ascending the hills themselves, at which point great dips and troughs reveal themselves and the whole region takes on a strange arid quality. The area was on fire for about 4 days in early 2011. Joe Mckee grew up in these hills and, after 4 years under the spell of Lon…don, he returned to them. Burning Boy is his debut album.

Joe’s previous outfit, Snowman, were significant. They released 2 albums out of Perth - 2006’s self titled effort and 2009’s violent masterpiece The Horse, The Rat & The Swan. Praise, wide ranging and effusive, came from all corners of the globe. Victory laps beckoned. Stumps were upped and the gang of four headed to London, basing themselves out of a small flat above a cafe in Walthamstow. They pieced together Absence – a magnificent pulsing, wash of a record that would become their parting salvo. Two of them moved to Iceland child in tow, another firmly folded into the arms of Cambridge. Joe, always spinning in his own orbit, landed back in Perth with a collection of songs inspired by this process, by home, by London and by the catharsis involved in returning to a place you’ve tried so long to forget.

Burning Boy itself is a bold shift for McKee. Gone is the pulsing rhythm section so often omnipresent in his work, replaced by a breathy and somewhat unexpected baritone.

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