The cover image of a chestnut mare crouched down in a meadow alerts potential listeners to the fact that this will not be an album of hard rock or raging punk energy. And so it proves. Penny Kittel’s photo of the horse is praised as mirroring “the abiding themes of nature, peace, grief and retreat, but also joy, of the album itself”.
The collaboration between Andrea Webster (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Leslie King (vocals, guitar) contains soothing and simple folk songs that steer well clear of life’s jagged edges.
The project began in 2014 as a follow up to their EP ‘Song For The Night’ which was praised by W&H’s very own Nick Browne as “a refreshing take on the genre”.
The realization of this full ten-track LP has taken a while, a delay which suggests that the process didn’t always run smoothly. However, the tunes flow and glow so effortlessly that you cannot imagine any serious disharmony between the couple.
The hushed quality make everything feel so delicate that you fear a strong wind would blow it all away although this mood reflects the emotional fragility their songs tap into.
The fleeting nature of our pleasures is the topic of the title track while time and change are the recurring themes of the album as a whole. The Colours Are Changing, for instance, draws parallels between subtle shifts in seasons and relationships.
At times, the preciousness feels a little too much and some changes of pitch or pace would help to keep the attention focused. On the other hand, the control and restraint are qualities to admire.
In the words of Tumbleweed, a mood of ”enchantment” and “sweet loveliness” prevails to keep the darker aspects of the modern world safely at bay.
Listen to ‘Ragged And Royal’ on Bandcamp