There is always a musical element that presses exactly the right button with every listener. It could be a good guitar lick, a synth line or, say, a string arrangement. For quite a few listeners, it is a set of excellent vocal harmonies. Of course, if it is multi-vocal harmonies, they can be brilliant in the hands of somebody like Brian Wilson. But then, it is the dual vocal harmonies that can often be harder to do right. It is only two voices, and there’s nothing much to hide behind.
That is particularly true if we are talking about duos in general, usually involving folk/Americana/acoustic-based music in general. But it seems that San Francisco Bay Area duo Wax Moon (John Blatchford and Paul Kimball), don’t care much about possible deficiencies and pitfalls such music can represent if you do not do it right.
Hello Morning, their third album (first in five years) is absolutely chock-full of such wicked harmonies that would completely cover up any other parts of the music or lyrics that might be lacking. You can try anywhere, whether it is the title track or “In Control” or actually anywhere else here.
But, on the other hand, there isn’t much lacking on this album either musically or lyrically that will detract from the duo’s brilliant vocals. The songwriting is perfectly-suited, musicianship (with three guest musicians) is up to the par and it all creates a feeling of sunny Sunday morning cuddling in your bed and not caring about anything else but the sounds entering your ears.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: WAX MOON – HELLO MORNING