The Harrow and the Harvest
The Harrow and The Harvest, Gillian Welch’s new record, is both a product of and is unrelated to those years in-between. Best to forget that. What it is, indisputably, is the product of two people (one of them being husband/guitar god David Rawlings) who have become so entwined in one another that the songs and the singing and the playing on this record seems to exude from a single voice. This is the sound of two people in a room, playing to one another, with one another. This is the sound of the room in which the two people are playing. This is the sound of two voices, locked in unison, locked in harmony. The sound of two people playing live, with no overdubs, and very few takes. Two people making music together as if they were one soul combined. You need this.
Bubbling up from the underground of the Los Angeles music scene with an indelible Nashville-influenced sound, indie roots duo honeyhoney have arrived with their new full-length album, Billy Jack. Produced primarily by Raymond Richards (Local Natives), Billy Jack finds twenty-something musicians Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe threading sweet melodies with big acoustic guitar sounds, percussive banjos and countrified fiddles. honeyhoney’s sexually tinged, bruised knee honeysuckle take on roots music must be heard to be understood, and Billy Jack pumps with the sound of hearts on fire, and real instruments played by people who really mean it. The album’s first single, “Turn That Finger Around,” is a steady-grooving story detailing hard times with a memorable hook and some Southern twang. A slow burn seethes beneath the gospel-flavored tale of romantic doubt, “Don’t Know How (Slow Mover),” while strings baste the mourning ballad “Angel of Death” and “Thin Line” explores dissatisfaction, good times and loss through the blues. From the dark smolder of “Glad I Done What I Did” and stark piano of “LA River,” to the euphoric romp of “Let’s Get Wrecked” — honeyhoney’s music embraces the sound of what it means to be alive.