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whitehorse

Whitehorse – “Achilles’ Desire”

 

Pairs Well With…Luke Doucet, Melissa McClelland, The Civil Wars

 

Since I’ve last reviewed Canadian folk rock duo Whitehorse, the band has released their debut LP The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss.  Unsurprisingly, the album is a relaxed listen that focuses on Doucet and McClelland’s songwriting abilities.  The vocal back-and-forth they display on tracks like “Mismatched Eyes” and “Achilles’ Desire” is enchanting, an interplay that continues musically throughout the bluesy record.

2012 Review: Two of Canada’s more inventive modern songwriters, husband/wife duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland teamed up last year to form Whitehorse.  Expectedly drawing from blues-rock and alt country, Whitehorse succeeds both in harmony and when Doucet and McClelland trade off verses.  Fans of Gillian Welch and David Rawling’s interplay will surely be drawn into Whitehorse’s back and forth.  Being a couple in life translates well to their music.  There’s an endearing quality to watching these established artists interact playfully both in lyric and performance.  This will surely be a strong set amidst any showcase at SXSW this year.

SXSW 2013 Spreadsheet 56:

Both new acts and returning OEB favorites make up this latest set, with eight bands scoring a “5” or above.  Highlights:

The Whigs (10) - Songs like “Gospel” and “Waiting” exhibit a tied-in rhythm section that is often overlooked with bands focusing on instrumental dynamics so much these last couple of years.
Wildcat! Wildcat! (9) - This isn’t quite radio-friendly material, rather Wildcat! Wildcat! focuses on inventive melodies and diversions with an experimental eye towards songwriting.
Whitehorse (8) - The vocal back-and-forth they display on tracks like “Mismatched Eyes” and “Achilles’ Desire” is enchanting, an interplay that continues musically throughout the bluesy record.
Wild Child (8) - On the opposite side, Wild Child has a, well, wild side to them.  “The Tale of You & Me” builds into a rambunctious sing-a-long, like Edward Sharpe for a woodsier crowd.
Wheeler Brothers (6) – Austin’s Wheeler Brothers are a passionate outfit, which is displayed through raucous acoustic strums and soul-searching vocals on their 2011 LP.  Their strongest track is the laid back “Portraits”, which sounds to be an updated take on “Friend of the Devil”.
The Wellspring (5) – Indie folk pop duo The Wellspring have ‘mainstream’ written all over them, so look for some breakout potential at SXSW.  The band aims for sugary melodies with a soft rock edge, but there’s tenderness to their songwriting and vocals that warrants a mention.
Wet Nuns (5) – Musically, I’m really digging on Wet Nuns’ heavy, pounding blues-rock riffs.  Their vocalist knowingly screams through his lyrics, which surprisingly doesn’t really mesh well with the loose grooves of the band.
White Violet (5) - Athens, Georgia indie rock band White Violet sounds like a gritty, dark version of Wilco on their latest record Hiding, Mingling.  Most of the tracks hit at most a mid-tempo beat, creating a sadness that resides over the whole album.

SXSW 2013 Spreadsheet 56:


Both new acts and returning OEB favorites make up this latest set, with eight bands scoring a “5” or above.  Highlights:


The Whigs (10) - Songs like “Gospel” and “Waiting” exhibit a tied-in rhythm section that is often overlooked with bands focusing on instrumental dynamics so much these last couple of years.

Wildcat! Wildcat! (9) - This isn’t quite radio-friendly material, rather Wildcat! Wildcat! focuses on inventive melodies and diversions with an experimental eye towards songwriting.

Whitehorse (8) - The vocal back-and-forth they display on tracks like “Mismatched Eyes” and “Achilles’ Desire” is enchanting, an interplay that continues musically throughout the bluesy record.

Wild Child (8) - On the opposite side, Wild Child has a, well, wild side to them.  “The Tale of You & Me” builds into a rambunctious sing-a-long, like Edward Sharpe for a woodsier crowd.

Wheeler Brothers (6) – Austin’s Wheeler Brothers are a passionate outfit, which is displayed through raucous acoustic strums and soul-searching vocals on their 2011 LP.  Their strongest track is the laid back “Portraits”, which sounds to be an updated take on “Friend of the Devil”.

The Wellspring (5) – Indie folk pop duo The Wellspring have ‘mainstream’ written all over them, so look for some breakout potential at SXSW.  The band aims for sugary melodies with a soft rock edge, but there’s tenderness to their songwriting and vocals that warrants a mention.

Wet Nuns (5) – Musically, I’m really digging on Wet Nuns’ heavy, pounding blues-rock riffs.  Their vocalist knowingly screams through his lyrics, which surprisingly doesn’t really mesh well with the loose grooves of the band.

White Violet (5) - Athens, Georgia indie rock band White Violet sounds like a gritty, dark version of Wilco on their latest record Hiding, Mingling.  Most of the tracks hit at most a mid-tempo beat, creating a sadness that resides over the whole album.

Whitehorse – “Broken” (live)

Two of Canada’s more inventive modern songwriters, husband/wife duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland teamed up last year to form Whitehorse.  Expectedly drawing from blues-rock and alt country, Whitehorse succeed both in harmony and when Doucet and McClelland trade off verses.  Fans of Gillian Welch and David Rawling’s interplay will surely be drawn into Whitehorse’s back and forth.  Being a couple in life translates well to their music.  There’s an endearing quality to watching these established artists interact playfully both in lyric and performance.  This will surely be a strong set amidst any showcase at SXSW this year.

SXSW 2012 Spreadsheet 43:

The ladies rule the roost in this wonderful set featuring a record six bands ranked at a “7” or above.  Here are the highlights, Kevin’s last before the big band announcement expected sometime next week.  Highlights:

Whitehorse (8): Being a couple in life translates well to their music.  There’s an endearing quality to watching these established artists interact playfully both in lyric and performance.
Grace Woodroofe (8): Most of her songs move along at a crawling pace, almost like a spaced out Norah Jones. 
Wussy (8): Wussy jumps into all sorts of directions throughout their rich catalog, but there is a distinct sound that remains their own throughout. 
Young Galaxy (8): Like dance remixes of Florence and the Machine tracks, Young Galaxy combines vocal drama and danceable beats to some really engaging results.
Carolyn Wonderland (7): Wonderland’s territory is the blues, playing with the pop side of the genre in a timeless fashion.
Zeus (7): Driven by shiny piano melodies and 60’s British rock, Zeus definitely had Beatles records in rotation when defining their own sound.
Wheeler Brothers (6): This band of folksters from Austin deliver a pleasant sound, as if the boys in Wilco had grown up listening to emo-tinged rock from the early 00’s.
Workout (5): This ultra-catchy band from Brooklyn goes for broke with power pop song structures driven by bouncy piano runs and ripping guitar licks.

SXSW 2012 Spreadsheet 43:


The ladies rule the roost in this wonderful set featuring a record six bands ranked at a “7” or above.  Here are the highlights, Kevin’s last before the big band announcement expected sometime next week.  Highlights:


Whitehorse (8): Being a couple in life translates well to their music.  There’s an endearing quality to watching these established artists interact playfully both in lyric and performance.

Grace Woodroofe (8): Most of her songs move along at a crawling pace, almost like a spaced out Norah Jones. 

Wussy (8): Wussy jumps into all sorts of directions throughout their rich catalog, but there is a distinct sound that remains their own throughout. 

Young Galaxy (8): Like dance remixes of Florence and the Machine tracks, Young Galaxy combines vocal drama and danceable beats to some really engaging results.

Carolyn Wonderland (7): Wonderland’s territory is the blues, playing with the pop side of the genre in a timeless fashion.

Zeus (7): Driven by shiny piano melodies and 60’s British rock, Zeus definitely had Beatles records in rotation when defining their own sound.

Wheeler Brothers (6): This band of folksters from Austin deliver a pleasant sound, as if the boys in Wilco had grown up listening to emo-tinged rock from the early 00’s.

Workout (5): This ultra-catchy band from Brooklyn goes for broke with power pop song structures driven by bouncy piano runs and ripping guitar licks.