by Chris Familton
Collaboration isn’t new to Dawn McCarthy and Will Oldham who released an album of demos in 2007 (Wai Notes) as an addendum to the previous year’s The Letting Go on which McCarthy sang. Those songs showed an ethereal synergy between their voices making this new album a tantalising proposition for those who have followed Oldham’s career closely.
The premise of What The Brothers Sang is a collection of songs that were made famous by the Everly Brothers but not necessarily written by them. The Everly theme is a subtle one though as McCarthy and Oldham have ignored their hits, instead interpreting songs they felt an affinity for in folk and country styles. The album is a slow moving body of work, for the most part a emotive and entrancing wander through songs that deal with love, heartbreak and sorrow. It isn’t all doom and gloom though, Milk Train is a delightful brisk strum that will have you humming while Somebody Help Me comes across like a 70s Tom Petty song. The best moments though are the quieter ones. So Sad delivers on its title with the pair’s voices intertwining in close harmony. This is one of those slow grow records, understated yet gracefully self assured.
this review was first published on FasterLouder