The Nashville Sessions
added: 22 Jun 2012
// release date: 11 Jun 2012 // label: Frairgate Records
reviewer: David Spencer
Strangely enough it is all in the name here for Lancashire indie-rock due Richard Birtill and Francesca Cullen. This debut set of songs was recorded in Nashville with producer Chris Donohue, with their sound described as a mix of psychedelic pioneers The Incredible String Band and the art-punk of The Fall. So the Nashville reference might lead you astray in expecting some safe and bland country.
Not that there is not any slide guitar or country tinged violin, in fact there is quite a lot of it. It is just not delivered in the way you might expect. Quirky is too easy a word to use but that really does describe the likes of 1 Million Screaming Angels as the pair’s vocals gently entwine; “we should be joined at the hip, we are Siamese twins.”
Starting off the six songs here is Cut All Strings, which was recently featured in an HBO documentary and has some lovely violin over a plucking banjo style guitar. Let’s Go Dancing is similar in style but sees Birtill doing an impression of Mika, but in a slightly more raw and less annoying way.
The darker and more atmospheric Tom Brown, with its layered vocals working majestically with the fiddle as Birtill sings of the “fire in your soul”. Til Death introduces us to the humour we are promised with its Civil Wars do angst;”you crawl underneath my skin…..I think I would enjoy killing you.” Quirky? Yes. Intriguing? Certainly. And very promising.
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