Island based Acoustic-Folk Duo Church and Ivory recently released their debut EP Where Thou Art, That is Home recorded at Skinny Mammoth Studios and speaking of things mostly island related – it’s very much relatable to those growing up on the Isle of Wight.
With such a wide genre it’s easy to compare artists (or duos!) to similar artists, musically, but the actuality is that acoustic song writing is a very personal and unique process, and this EP shows exactly that. The EP is a mix of personal stories, nostalgic hindsight and both political and religious scrutiny – all accompanied by a simple and bouncy country soundtrack. Perfectly fitting, with just that latent hint of deep emotion behind the face value of nice simple singalong songs.
There’s a range of instruments in play, with obvious heavy use of acoustic guitar, but also banjo, piano and tasteful use of drums just to help give the songs more of a full sound (side note, the banjo intro to Mother’s Son has just a hint of twang which reminds me of the theme song for Scrubs -sorry) . The recording itself is very raw, without much fancy production tricks – you can even hear the swipes of strings whilst changing chords and the occasional fret buzz to again reinforce that intimate and humble atmosphere. However the layered harmonic vocals add real depth to the tracks, something that couldn’t be achieved in quite the same way if there were just one vocalist.
Each song has a definitive theme, though I’m sure there’s infinite possibilities for personal interpretation, so I won’t go too in depth for mine. But the album shows a clear progression throughout, making you think, making you reminisce. The EP ends on the soft and slightly more sombre All I Have which is a good place to leave it… and then immediately start listening from the start again.
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