A surprising debut from husband a wife duo The Gills
Liz and Tim Gill are one of the couples that have found perfect harmony during the lockdown: literally. A married couple from Baltimore in the US, this indie-folk duo seem to have come from nowhere with a perfectly produced debut. It goes to show that for some, the extra time and space have created perfect conditions for songwriting.
‘In the Beginning‘ may have been finished during the pandemic, but The Gills started work on this collection while stationed by the Peace Corps in The Philippines. There is a remarkably peaceful vibe on the record that comes through, an aspect that shines over the contemplativeness of pandemic songwriting. Liz Gill has a stunning voice and provides close harmonies with Tim Gill who also plays acoustic guitar as a further counterpoint. With little or no drums, this music is all about melodies and harmonies which it delivers in spades.
‘Windless Sail‘ starts with all the hallmarks of a very well-produced demo, an acoustic lullaby until the electric guitars kick in and add an epic oceanic quality that contrasts with the mandolin and lets the listener know they mean business. A dynamic musical quality that continues in ‘Why Would I?‘, a track that sounds like Morrissey was strumming a mandolin in a church until Nick Cave showed up and played the cello.
‘Should Have Known‘ changes the tone and sets acoustic guitar with a quiet bass line while the vocals forge exceptional harmonies. The EP is neither overworked nor underproduced, which is very rare in self-recorded, mixed and mastered work and Tim Gill is clearly very talented. ‘Swords‘ is the first track with a notable inclusion of drums but they are so soft as to be a simple rhythmic framework for the vocal harmonies to float upon. The EP ends with ‘Pasture‘ an acoustic guitar instrumental which has a lot to thank Led Zeppelin III for, and that is no bad thing at all.
Lyrically simple but not trite; guitar lines simple but not without talent. The Gills are simple but musically pleasing. An outstanding debut and Americana UK will be watching to see what they do next.