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  Up All Night
Artist: The Waifs 
Label: Compass Records
Length: 12/47:53

Australian trio The Waifs is another entry into the “why have I never heard these guys before?” category.  A mixture of Victoria Williams, Susan Tedeschi, Indigo Girls, and Mitch McVicker, the twelve songs are acoustically based, sometimes gritty tunes that are extremely well written.

Sisters Vikki and Donna Simpson contribute seven songs, and Joshua Cunningham adds the other five.  All three sing and contribute guitar parts. Cunningham adds mandolin, ukulele, and dobro, while Vikki adds the obligatory harmonica to the folk based trio.

“Nothing New” is a tale of struggling through life, while trying to avoid cycinism:

We live through this day after day
Complacency’s a curse
But you just can’t escape it
I’ve arrived at that place where my tolerance gave way
And I struggle to hold my head up high.
“Lighthouse” pleads for guidance, and “Since I’ve Been Around” revisits the subject’s childhood home.  “Fourth Floor” observes a small beauty surrounded by a dull and grey world around it.  “Three Down” is another tale of life on the road.

This is a wonderful album for fans of acoustic folk rock, in the vein of Miranda Stone or Vic Williams.  Up All Night may keep you up all night, enjoying the harmonies of its three vocalists, while taking in the intricacies of the stories therein.

Brian A. Smith  1/8/2004


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