Wonderful World of Nature

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Following the breakup of the excellent Melbourne indie pop band Totally Mild, enigmatic frontwoman Elizabeth Mitchell makes her solo debut with The Wonderful World of Nature. Billed simply as Elizabeth, Mitchell blankets herself in a climate of sad opiate grandeur, spinning heartbroken paeans of grief, desire, and indulgence against dense backdrops of cinematic guitar and synth-pop. Matching her sense of drama is her strong melodic sense, which she wields to great effect on highlights like "Here" and "Meander," songs that veer a little closer to wistful sweetness than outright melancholia. As a songwriter, Elizabeth certainly knows her way around a piano ballad and delivered one of her best in "Lucky Stars," a standout that was essentially a solo cut from Totally Mild's 2018 swan song, Her. She carries that same torch here on sparse, lovelorn ballads like "Don't Let My Love (Bring You Down)" and "Imagining the Changes," each one a vehicle for her airy vocals which soar with unaffected ease and gorgeous expression. At times, The Wonderful World of Nature tends to wallow a little too deeply in its own tragic essence as Elizabeth glides with mercurial glamour from one sad song to the next. That said, it's a cohesive set that lives up to its intentions and introduces its creator as a significant solo talent.

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