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Jokes & Trials – 16th Anniversary Reissue

by Ned Collette

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Ned Collette's debut album, digital version. Originally released in July 2006.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €8 EUR  or more

    You own this


  • CD plus download
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Jewel Case, original CD pressing of Ned Collette's debut album. Please note these copies were found in a box in 2018, so they are 12 years old. In perfect condition but for a few scuffs and scratches on the cases.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Jokes & Trials – 16th Anniversary Reissue via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • 16th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    NED COLLETTE — Jokes and Trials
    Feeding Tube/Sophomore Lounge LP




    What a pleasure it is to bring you the first vinyl version of Jokes and Trials, the 2006 solo debut by Melbourne's Ned Collette, whose incredible song cycle Old Chestnut (FTR362) and brilliant instrumental album Afternoon—Dusk (FTR468) have been widely and correctly lauded as classics.

    As Mark Harwood explains in his excellent liner notes, Ned emerged from the Melbourne improv underground along with people like Will Guthrie and Joe Talia. Indeed, it was Talia who turned Ned onto Jim O'Rourke's 2001 classic, Insignificance as a way of demonstrating possible connections between pop song form and avant garde strategies. Ned's own first moves in this direction built around loops. But by the time he was ready to cut Jokes and Trials, he was eager to try more traditional musical structures, infused with subtle tendrils of experimentalism.

    The songs on this album use elements like pedal steel, cello and a vocal chorus to create a set of music with a timelessness rooted equally in early '70s singer-songwriterism, and subsequent avant garde variations on the form. There is something at the base of Ned's guitar and voice here that put me in mind of Bert Jansch's work for the Charisma label. The vocals and words bespeak a knowledge or the same deep well of sorrow, although whether this is truth or artifice I cannot claim to know.

    Several of the tunes on Jokes and Trials point directly towards the richness of Ned's evolving style, and his ability to use small changes to instrumentation in ways that feel radical. The more I play it, the more the detailing reveals itself. This album may represent an early step in Collette's stylistic journey, but it is a sure and beautiful one. Certain to massage the souls of those who came to his music later in the game.

    A good one for sure.

    —Byron Coley

    Edition of 500, black vinyl, full colour jacket, lyric insert and extensive new liner notes by Mark Harwood aka Penultimate Press. PRE-ORDER NOW. Ships in time for March 25 release date. US customers should order direct from sophomorelounge.bandcamp.com or feedingtuberecords.com

    Includes unlimited streaming of Jokes & Trials – 16th Anniversary Reissue via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Boulder 04:13
Hill 00:49
Janet 05:08
Don't Talk 03:19
Blame 07:42


Ned Collette's debut album came out in July of 2006, just as his previous and mostly instrumental band, City City City was coming to an end. Jokes & Trials saw him forego the democracies of a group to craft a subtle folk album on which he wrote and arranged all the songs and played nearly all the instruments. With nods toward influences such as Robert Wyatt, Leonard Cohen and Judee Sill, the album caught the attention of musicians and listeners alike, and topped 2006 critics polls in many corners of the globe. At the time Collette had developed his own live technique of using guitar loops and delays on stage, building percussive and melodic layers over which he presented his songs. This saw him tour the album extensively throughout Australia before being asked by both Joanna Newsom and Camera Obscura on tours throughout Europe.

From allmusic.com:

"What immediately grabs the listener on Ned Collette's debut record is his overwhelmingly familiar, likable voice. This applies both to his literary voice--the exact lyrical mood of a casual ode to friendship like "Song for Louis"--and also his actual voice, a big, loping, throaty baritone that fills in the blank spaces of these austere songs like sunshine through an empty house. This is a friendly and remarkably endearing record, with a surplus of the sort of casual intimacy that greenhorn singer-songwriters typically eschew in favor of esoterica or melodrama. One does not really want much more than Collette and a guitar here, and one does not get it. The few embellishments thereupon--graceful percussion in the album's final moments, a bounding synth solo on "Boulder"--show the sort of instrumental intuitiveness Collette would exhibit more comprehensively on his follow-up record. Here, though, nothing obstructs the listener's engagement with the singer, creating a spare but fitting place to get to know someone."


released July 22, 2006

Ned Collette - voice, guitars, synths, organ, bass, percussion
Anna Steele, Emily Ulman, Lucy Richards - backing vocals
Barry Turnbull - pedal steel on 'Plea'
Alastair Watts - cello & double bass on 'Boulder' and 'Laughter'
Mei Lei Swann, Rachael Kim - violins on same
Ben Bourke - keyboards on 'Janet'
Joe Talia - drums on 'Laughter'
& the 3am Chinatown Choir - Gus Franklin, Anna Steele, Marcus Teague, Andrew Ramadge, Joe Talia on 'Laughter'

Recorded by Matt Maddock and Ned Collette
Mixed by Matt Maddock, Joe Talia and Ned Collette
Mastered by Lachlan Carrick and François Tétaz

Cover photograph by Tim McNeilage
Album artwork by Karla Pringle


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