Davey Craddock’s second album is messy. There’s blood on the pavement, helicopters overhead and a racist shouting over the fence. It’s called One Punch. There are no country songs. There are no love songs. There’s a bomb.
Since the release of the West Australian singer songwriter’s debut album City West in 2016, things have changed. Davey introduced himself with an album The Music described as “a world class introduction to one of this country’s finest singer-songwriters”. City West’s dry, observational, offbeat take on folk rock became a favourite of ABC Radio and Double J with The Australian giving it four stars. Don Walker invited Davey to Sydney to perform it, Davey played it to perplexed Americans, Davey performed it at festivals and fans of Australian storytelling dug it. But when sitting down to write the follow up things felt - and sounded - different.
“Two white lines flashing to the radio… and the man with the funny last name’s asking me where to go. So it’s pisshead diplomacy offered over water and mints, while I’m carefully trying to divine which bullet he’s missed” - One Punch
The first half of the album was written in America on a writing trip punctuated by the three surreal US presidential debates. Once home, a second batch of songs emerged as hasty dot points in Davey’s iPhone - scraps about meth bashings, his Dad’s ill health and a lot of talk of nuclear war. Suddenly writing about girls and long drives through the country didn’t feel all that important.
“Green smoke leaks from the horizon, Blue water lapping at my feet. Redbelly black snake snuck up from behind, got the white people praying at his knees.” - The Bomb, From Broome
Recorded with his crack band of Perth notaries, One Punch sees Davey adding darker, noisier and more chaotic sounds to his brand of alt-folk. It’s an album about displaced people and displaced ideas.
In The Bomb, From Broome the protagonist dips his feet in the Indian ocean while radioactive coconuts bobble at his feet to an ominous, Bad Seeds-y rumble. In title track One Punch - a wonky, half-cut power ballad - we’re led down a taxi line as each bloodied customer explains their bruises. Not In My Backyard (You Said) sees dogwhistle racism unpicked amongst an almighty racket before, in a typically eclectic swerve, Davey leaves it all behind for a sunny, jangly Holiday.