Thursday, August 8, 2013

Music: The Civil Wars

I’ve spent a lot of this past week partially day dreaming about the near future, dreaming up different lives and different places to live in. Not that I am not happy here, I certainly don’t want to leave NYC, not right now anyway, but sometimes when I am too restless to write stories about escape, I just tend to dream them up instead, usually accompanied by a specific soundtrack that drives these dreams.

I randomly downloaded The Civil Wars eponymous second album last Tuesday, just after it was released. I listened to it for the first time while I was relaxing on the beach, waves and seagulls in the distance, music right in my ears, nothing else to distract me from the melodies and the lyrics. I fell for the harmonies and the simple beauty of the songs, and the words pierced my heartstrings. Apparently The Civil Wars already have an award-winning first album called Barton Hollow (released in 2011), but I had never heard of them before this week. Not that this matter, I’m now a fan, and their first album is just as beautiful as the second.

The Civil Wars are Joy Williams and John Paul White who met at a songwriting session in Nashville in 2008. They must have realised their potential as a duo because this collaboration lead to a few EPs, a first album, a lot of touring, and then a second album this month. I have read that they are no longer collaborating due to some types of differences, which is quite a pity, because they really work well together. Nevertheless, I love their music. From some research that I have done they have been categorized as Country, Folk, Indie Folk and Americana – as always I don’t really like to categorise music into one simple genre, so I would say that they cover all of them. Music that focuses mainly on both Joy and John Paul’s voices which sing about relationships, love, and the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with relationships, accompanied by guitars that follow and lead the harmonies.

If you like singer-songwriter duos you definitely need to listen to The Civil Wars. Start with The One That Got Away and Eavesdrop, or just listen to the entire album. It’s worth your time. Now I am going to go back to dreaming about other places and other lives…

Let me in the wall, You've built around, We can light a match, And burn it down, Let me hold your hand, And dance 'round and 'round the flames, In front of us, Dust to dust

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