Still one of the leading lights of the Australian strand of guitar-strummed, literate indie pop-rock, Underground Lovers have influenced the sound of many local bands over the years, from The Sleepy Jackson to Blank Realm and on to Shining Bird. They'll no doubt continue to hold that sphere of influence with their latest and one of their best albums.
The beautifully subtle pop/jazz vocalist has been one of the great old souls of music since launching her recording career after winning the first runner up prize at the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition. But she celebrated the significant chronological milestone of passing 30 while making this graceful and exquisite album. Beyond that, Monheit also celebrates her new motherhood to son Jack, and that's what inspired the inclusion of the always welcome "Rainbow Connection"; she sings the charming song – and its lyrics that inspired the name of the recording – to Jack all the time. At home, however, it doesn't have the exquisite Gil Goldstein accordion touch that makes this one of the best renditions ever. Goldstein arranged many of the tracks, but one of the most exciting jazzy turns, Monheit's swinging, swaggering "Get Out of Town," was done by pianist Michael Kanan, who was part of the ensemble that recorded half of these tracks while the singer was still pregnant. In many ways, then, this 13-track collection is a chronicle of the singer pre- and post-motherhood – and all something that Jack will be proud of as he grows older. As always, the key to a great interpreter's project is the choice of material, and Monheit makes interesting picks, ranging from a wistful take on Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love" to Fiona Apple's dark and haunting "Slow Like Honey" and Corinne Bailey Rae's "Like a Star".