The Nashville Sessions is the brand new debut effort for rising UK Indie-Folk duo Changing Horses. Made up of the eccentrically quirky pair that is Francesca Cullen and Richard Birtill, the duo make some progressive strides into a promising recording career as this debut EP proves. Made up of six tracks that boast a diverse and passionate musicality, we are delivered with a powerful set of original pennings from one of the nations finest new folk additions.
Musically the collection we are offered is soaked in folk layered twang but it is the vocals that cast the EP into Indie waters as front man Richard Birtill twists his well articulated vocals around a beautifully composed set of pennings that show off the UK’s ability to produce some well crafted folk tracks usually left for the likes of US folk heavyweights.
Beginning with the opening Cut All Strings we are offered a track which propels itself through some memorable guitar-work while Birtill’s vocals swing through a catchy melody of guitars and strings, adding a sweet filling to the introduction and some complimenting chorus harmonies with his femal band mate, Francesca Cullen. The opener to The Nashville Sessions certainly has ‘single’ written all over it.
Lets Go Dancing and One Million Screaming Angels pulls back the tempo to combine a pair of the EP’s more stripped back additions, particularly the latter which utilizes Birtill’s distinctive vocals with an instrumentally minimalistic backdrop of acoustic guitar and the syrupy vocal croonings of Cullen’s angelic dream sequence nearing the end of the number making the song the standout addition to The Nashville Sessions.
Leaving the balladry to one side we are offered an angst-laden performance of I Don’t Need It. Lyrically engaging and musically anthemic, Birtill unleashes a string of defiant lines such as the opening “I don’t care what tomorrow brings and I don’t care what song you sing and I don’t care about your heaven or your hell” which displays a wilder side to the duo and also shows that the act are quite capable of pulling off balladry just as well as they do uptempo angst.
It’s somewhat of an experimental folk outing for the pair but one that pulls together enough hooks and catchy guitar work to make our ears prick up and listen attentively to what presents itself to be a fine debut release for one of the UK’s brightest new indie-folk outfits.
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