Bart and Friends – There May Come a Time EP

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Bart and Friends is an Australian supergroup of sorts, fronted by Bart Cummings.  The group features members of the Shapiros and the Lucksmiths, to name a few, so you’re probably going to have some lofty expectations.  Luckily for us all, There May Come a Time lives up to those expectations, and in fact, it surpasses them.

Opening the EP is “There May Come a Time,” which features the wonderful Pam Berry on vocals.  She’s talking about writing songs, but suggests that there are some words/songs she’ll always remember (those of a love when she was young). I love the brightness of the guitar sound here, not to mention the precision drumming which helps accentuate the depth of the track.  You’re going to be hard pressed to find a better album opener on a pop record than this one.  But, then they move into some extremely familiar territory with the much covered track, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”  I know the song was originally done by Elvis, but as a kid of the 80s, I think back to UB40 (unfortunately).  However, twenty listens into this EP, I will forever think of Berry’s performance here; her voice seems to be perfectly crafted to sing this track.  Definitely a special song.

From here you’ll get into the middle of There May Come a Time, featuring two of my favorite tracks, though one is the record’s shortest.  “A Kiss You Won’t Forget” encompasses everything I’ve come to love about the sound of pop music that’s been carried over from Australia.  Sharp dueling guitars, careful bass work, and some of the best vocal performances.  It’s one of those songs you want to put on a mixtape and play for all your friends.  There’s only one thing wrong with “There Are So Many Things I’d Like to See,” and that revolves around the 50 second song length.  It’s a completed track by Bart and Friends, but I completely wish they’d have pushed it even further; it’s got the makings of becoming one of my favorite tracks every.  I’m just going to loop it over and over on my own to reach the desired effect. The group does approach similar territory on “These Words Are Too Small,” but Berry seems a bit more rushed here, so it doesn’t have that drama in it.

Closing out the EP is “A Summer’s Dream,” the most chilled out track on There May Come a Time.  Here, while Berry again sounds great, it’s the sound of the guitar that really shines.  It’s as if each note was carefully picked for maximum melodic power; there’s a carefree mood created by both the band and Berry.  It’s a relaxing feeling, the way every summer dream should be.  The ending is perfectly fitting for this EP, as the band have bookended both sides of the EP perfectly.  But, don’t think that the middle is just filler; you’re likely to find some of the most special pop moments of the year hiding in there. Go see for yourself.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/There_May_Come_A_Time.mp3]

Download: Bart and Friends – There May Come a Time [MP3]

There May Come a Time is available now from Matinee Recordings.

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