Album Review – Love, Lust, Lost by Zac Denton (2022) (Osborne Again / Emotional Response Records, Lost and Lonesome and Spunk Records)

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As a 7 year old, I remember sitting in a caravan with my parents, when news came on the radio that Elvis Presley had died. As teens in the 1950s, when he was at his pomp, it seemed to really affect my Mum and Dad. Mum definitely cried and Dad did that thing which he only really reserved for the death of his father and dogs, where he took himself off for a very long walk.
I never really fathomed how anyone could mourn the death of a celebrity they had never met, until Zac Denton suddenly passed away nearly four years ago and then, whilst certainly not crying, I did the whole ‘Dad walk’, thing and listened to his music for a couple of weeks. Perhaps a bit trite, but it gave me the solace I really had no right to expect, considering I did not know him.
Of course my mourning is purely selfish. I could not understand my parents angst regarding Elvis, but a vital member of Ocean Party and Ciggie Witch (of course he was in so many bands but these two had touched me more and for longer) leaving this world so suddenly and at such a tender age, had rattle some intense emotional buttons in me.
Of course his musical legacy lives on in the back catalogues of all the bands he played in. However, this Love, Lust, Lost album takes such a tribute one step further, with what feels like an intensely personal collection of ‘unreleased’ tracks that he had been working on or presumably just never found an album to house them on.
Essentially, for those that revel in gushing morbidity, this feels somehow like his last perfect message. From the plucked acoustics of Pay You Back With Love and Eighteen Now, through the jangled Darren Hayman style indie/twee-pop of the title track, Walking The Tracks and Ace, the album never really needs to leave lo-fi or low tempo to make it’s beautiful mark. Similarly the Australiana folk of Ciggie Whinge and Six Weeks excel with the confines of a laconic tempo, enabling every word to be considered.
Of course the mid tempo jangle of Ocean Party is not completely usurped with Fuck’M and Cut The Chains offering respite to the slacker-pop energy and reminding us of his part in this truly great act.
Available on a limited edition, double LP Gatefold album from the four cited labels in the title, it is hard to imagine a better tribute to the great man and his musical life.

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ZAC DENTON – DISCOGS

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