Listening to Kathryn Williams and Neill McColl is like lying on your back outside on a sunny day, watching the clouds go by. The music is so tranquil that I couldn't concentrate on the work I was trying to do - and instead, gave up and am now writing this review.
Their new album, 'Two' is out in March 2008, but I'm lucky to have it early and am happy to tell the world about it. The harmonies and musicianship throughout 'Two' is superb - it's the most hypnotic and relaxing music that I've heard in a long time. Kathryn's voice is gentle, and seems to float in amongst the chords of the acoustic guitar.
'Two' is a generous album, with 13 songs, most of them co-written by Kathryn and Neill. It was recorded in an intimate setting, and the album was unbelievably written, recorded and mixed in just over two weeks.
Opening track, "6am Corner" features Neill's subtle vocal harmonies - just enough to add 'a little color' to Kathyrn's lead. The instrumentation is tight - albeit at times the melody reminds me of the Beatles' "Let It Be", but only briefly. On the quaint "Innocent When You Dream" (Tom Waits), Neill and Kathryn harmonize throughout, and apparently, the song was recorded in just one take.
"Come With Me" is the first single release off of 'Two'. The lyrics are enchanting, and the song as a whole draws me in with each note. Like some sort of spell is being cast. A brilliant choice for the first release.
"Frame" is one of my favorites, a clever song, and is the one song on the album that makes me think, "Joni Mitchell". Maybe it's Kathryn's vocal phrasing, or the lyrics that include, "look at that painting on a hotel wall, seen by lonely eyes. Don't go into hotels lookin' for dreams, don't go into them with thoughts of your life" - either way, it's a stand out track. I love the story - very touching and unique.
The rustic feel of "Armchair" could be a number straight out of Gram Parson's repertoire. Perfect around a campfire at night - and surprisingly includes a particular swear word. Excellent!
Kathryn Williams and Neill McColl's album, 'Two' is highly recommended, to be consumed in it's entirety. One of my favorite albums of the year.
Read more about Kathryn Williams and Neill McColl on Band Weblogs.
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