Tracey Browne and Raevennan Husbandes
East by North West
Release Date: 21st December 2014
When it comes to debut albums they are always hugely anticipated either by the many through media hype and coverage or the few loyal fans of a band or act. The debut album from these two very talented woman is not an exception to that rule either as many have been looking forward to hearing the outcome of their first album as a creative duo.
Meeting back in 2012 when both artists were selected to work with folk band The Unthanks, they formed a friendship that has grown into a collaborative duo with the first results of that being this debut album ‘East by North West’. While writing and recording this album, they have continued to make and write their own music as well as working with other artists too but this has been their main focus for many months now. The results are a great coming together of ideas in a coherent and great debut.
The album opens with beautiful acoustic melodies that ring throughout the beginnings of ‘Coming Home’ giving us a mellow folky feel from the off. The harmonious vocals with soaring moments and a slightly angelic feel mash together well complimenting each other’s tones whilst also bringing their own unique edge to the lyrics they deliver.
Next track ‘Peacemaker’ sees a country feel from twanging guitars while keys tinkle around the vocals that still retain their harmonious nature but they have a stronger delivery here. While ‘Fire In Your Heart’ takes those country tinges and builds a poppy atmosphere through jumpy guitar strums, quick harmonious vocals and classic, flowing violin notes. But it is ‘In The End’ that mixes country tinged strums with soft hi-hats and rock edge in the choruses which see crashing cymbals and harsh guitars. Altogether, it is an addition of an influence that paves the way for some great tracks.
Meanwhile, beautiful lilting sounds are found weaved throughout ‘To The Sea’ from the ebbing and flowing vocal chords to the quickly plucked guitar and the deep, drawn out sound of violins but it is the change of pace in the chorus that adds an urgency to the lyrics. This is followed by the utterly stunning ‘As Good As News’ with its quicker vocal delivery which is set against a fast paced piano line that contrasts perfectly with the wonderfully elongated violin notes. This may be a subtle and calm one but it still retains a great sense of melody and harmony before the dramatic and threatening piano and weeping violins change the pace drastically halfway through.
Intricate guitar, a faster paced acoustic and a bouncing vocal delivery makes ‘I’m Gonna Get Myself In Trouble’ a catchy track with a direct message delivered through the authoritative vocals; a great track to listen to when you need a little pick me up.
Oscillating, intricate guitar plucks opens ‘Blood & Bone’ before dual vocal harmonies are added filling this track instantly with their sing song sound. It takes the tempo down perfectly before the excellent final track ‘On Raglan Road’. Powerful vocals standalone throughout the entirety of this, ringing through your ears to create a stunning and breathtaking moment where you sit up and give your full attention to this song.
Check out ‘In The End’ from the album below: