I panicked when I first saw the link in last week’s Chain Gang, which was Lori McKenna’s ‘Humble and Kind’, as I didn’t know either the artist or the song. Then I did some digging around and found out that the album the track is from, 2016’s ‘The Bird and the Rifle’, was produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb. Phew! So here we go…
Before he became one of the world’s hottest producers, Cobb played in alt-rock band The Tender Idols, which featured Ian Webber on vocals. Webber, who’s from the UK – he grew up in Devon – but is now based in Nashville, has released three great solo albums, including 2018’s sociopolitical Op-Eds, but, earlier this year, he teamed up with his wife, Memphis-born singer-songwriter, Meg Olsen, to form the duo Until the End of the World.
Their debut single, ‘Just Let Go’, was released this summer and it’s a gorgeous, stripped-down ballad, with Olsen on lead vocals, that recalls the fragile, dreamy, country-psych-folk of Mazzy Star. The duo’s influences include Richard Hawley, lo-fi Velvet Underground, David Lynch and the films of Wim Wenders – in fact, the group takes it name from Wenders’s 1991 road movie, ‘Until the End of the World.’
The follow-up single, the equally lovely, but twangier, ‘Stars Fall Down’, came out in November, and there’s an album planned for spring 2021 – unless the end of the world happens first.