Phil Sawyer's 1971 album Childhood's End, originally released in Australia on the Sweet Peach label, remains pretty unknown to most collectors. This is a wonderful album that will please anyone into psychedelia, rock and folk. Totally electric, great production, great songwriting -- and the warm, uneducated voice of Phil himself gives a slightly looser feel to it at times.
What immediately attract are the first three songs ("September Woman", "Nightbirds", and "The Other Side of Silence"), sung with a soft romantic voice, played with moody organ or flute and some soft layers of guitars. The songs reveal deep feelings related with certain relationships. The fourth track, “Childhood's End” has more electric guitar arrangements. “Where did everybody go?” is something completely different in style, recorded with live voices in studio, a making fun song, perhaps recorded completely stoned. Also “Electric Children” is more rocking, and could have come from the same session.
Also this is in a more mainstream style, compensated by an overload of crazy reverb effects on guitars. Both these tracks are from a different character and recording quality, but being in the middle of the album, just show something like a different aspect, a compensated insecure moment perhaps. “The Chase” holds the middle between this sphere and the earliest quieter moment, with some electric guitars working as the connecting wire. After “Stranger in the Street”, it is by “Letters to Seraphina” that we’re back to where the album started. It is one of the moodiest tracks, with additional tabla. Here we can easily associate the kind of seashore endless haze seen on the album cover.
1. September Woman (P. Sawyer, Nat Cohen) - 3:08
2. Nightbirds (P. Sawyer, Phil Cunneen) - 3:25
3. The Other Side Of Silence (P. Sawyer, Phil Cunneen) - 3:44
4. Childhood's End - 2:47
5. Where Did Everybody Go? - 3:16
6. Electric Children - 4:31
7. The Chase - 3:56
8. Stranger In The Street (P. Sawyer, Phil Cunneen) - 2:43
9. Letters To Serephina (P. Sawyer, Phil Cunneen) - 5:15
All Songs by Phil Sawyer except where indicated
*Phil Sawyer - Vocals
*Phil Cunneen - Musical Director