The Lostines “Meet The Lostines”

Gar Hole Records, 2024

A wonderfully vibrant New Orleans brew of country, soul, gospel and swamp.

Album cover artwork for the album 'Meet The Lostines' by The LostinesThe Lostines are singer-songwriters Casey Jane Reece-Kaigler and Camille Wind Weatherford. Both come originally from the Pacific Northwest and met when they relocated to New Orleans. Here they became a part of the New Orleans music scene, meeting people such as members of the Deslondes, Hurray For The Riff Raff and the great Pat Reedy. On this, their debut album, coming after EPs ‘The Lostines’ and ‘Heart Of Night’ you can hear the New Orleans influence so strongly with, for example, several tracks sounding musically like the Deslondes with their swampy mixture of country, soul and gospel. The album was produced by The Lostines in conjunction with Sam Doores from The Deslondes and Ross Farbe of Videoage.

The album starts with the fantastic ‘A Tear’ with its Motown feel and memorable chorus. Here the beautiful harmonies of The Lostines and a Hammond Organ sound like a sixties girl group and this would have been a sure-fire hit had it been released then by one of those groups at that time. Doores has also recently produced Desiree Canon’s latest album ‘Radio Heat’, also on Gar Hole Records, and there seems to be a common thread between the two albums with some of that also having a Motown influence which works very well. 

From then on, every track is strong with wonderful melodies and more beautiful singing and harmonising from the duo. The complex arrangements with instruments such as the theremin, upright piano, baritone guitar, cajun fiddle and spring reverb work very well, with them complementing each other perfectly to give a very interesting and satisfying sound. The duo were helped by many contributions from New Orleans friends on various instruments.

Some tracks steer away from the country-soul swamp sound. In ‘After Party’, written about a farewell party for Pat Reedy, who was moving to Nashville, there is swinging line-dancing country with steel guitar. The lyrics tell of wanting to spend the night with someone, even though he will be leaving and it may just be for that night.

‘Come Back To My Arms’ starts with something like a church organ and ends with a rousing, gospel-like finale that could be in a chapel. Here, as elsewhere, the yearning vocals fit well with lyrics of desperately wanting to be with someone again.

In ‘Eye For An Eye’ there is gentle guitar picking and imagery from the natural world, as there is in other tracks: “Bees were swimming in the sky”. ‘Frankie and Eva’, which seems to be about Frankenstein, and the closing ‘Last Night’ with its waltz beat have orchestral violin included. ‘Last Night’, set around a campfire, returns to nature “as the crickets played their songs”.

The duo’s words, mostly of love and loss have good poetic imagery “I knew your soul long ago /Life times ago before you met me” and have the ring of truth and authenticity about them. This, allied to the fabulous melodies, sweet singing and excellent musicianship makes this album very well worth listening to. The album of the year so far, beating some strong competition. 


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