Along with his memorable entourage of acoustic instruments and multi-track vocals, Josh Pyke has just released a new album titled But For All These Shrinking Hearts. Debuting at #1 on the Australian ARIA charts, his fourth studio album is reminiscent of his earlier work, adding to the long string of sentimental folk songs that have characterised Pyke’s style.

The record commences with a song titled ‘Book Of Revelations’ that indeed encapsulates Pyke’s constant search for meaning, a theme that is embodied in the lyrics of so many of his songs. The wistful nature of this tune is predictably reflective, tying into Pyke’s well-established ethos of tugging at heartstrings and inducing nostalgia. There is something comforting about Pyke’s latest album, which is perhaps because it shares a similar flavour to the rest of his work. Listening to this album feels like coming home to someone you’ve known for a long time whose always been decent and good to you.

The album is underwhelming in the sense that is not the expression of a revolutionary new sound by Pyke. However, it is consistently enjoyable. One might say the entire tone of the album is light on the ears, whilst heavy on the sentimental vibes. The only song that seemed to challenge the well versed pattern in Pyke’s folk style, was the song ‘Where Your Colours Go’ which began with an array of staccato-like melodies layered together, straying from the usual prologue of acoustic guitars and standard piano’s.

A particularly memorable song on the album was titled ‘Doing What You’re Told’, in which Pyke’s inner teen angst graced the stage for a little bit of airplay, releasing a new kind of emotional depth in the lyricism. Veering away from the tantalising realm of the reflective and into the devil-may-care attitude of a frustrated young person grappling with the reality of their entitlement in a world full of rules and regulations.

Most of all, this album is a reliable peak into what Pyke’s music has always been about; heart, acoustic instruments and a full measuring cup of poetic licence. Ultimately this album would sit well under some dim lighting, a nice cup of tea and perhaps even a best-selling work of fiction. It will not surprise fans of Pyke, but it will do well to remind them why they were so drawn to his music to begin with.

For All The Shrinking Hearts is out now via Sony Music. 

7.5/10