Various Guises “Tide Take Him” (Independent, 2016)

Various Guises are modern folkies – a duo featuring Blanche Ellis and Maya McCourt. ‘Tide Take Him Out’ is their debut EP. A short glimpse into a world of gothic flecked acapella suffused with sparse instrumentation. There is mournful cello beneath the intimate vocal harmonies and gently strummed guitar on the second track Green. Willow follows the same template with strong vocals and lyrics coloured by the cello played with a fierce verve. But this is not enough to develop these songs. There needs to be more of a palette to properly reflect the songs.

“Various Guises” is their debut EP so this is only right. Demonstrate the potential and talent in its purest form before developing their craft with access to all the tools that will lift these songs above the raft of other duos who plough these same furrows. In fact the ‘bonus’ track Bedlam Boys perhaps points the way in terms of carving out an identity with its extraordinary cacophony of harmonies and scissors snipping, percussions all heading towards the chaotic conclusion. Marvellous stuff. Why a bonus? This should be the opener!

Much potential here. Keep an eye on these two.

Author: Keith Hargreaves

Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up

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