On receiving this album from Pavement PR, I wasn’t 100% sure it was my thing. I’m not a massive fan of folk or country but this duo’s new album is pretty spell-binding. It’s full of tracks that are focused purely on the vocals and Miss Shevaughn truly has a purity that is rarely found, particularly in small folk bands.
Having spent the last year writing the album and touring the length and breadth of America, they’ve picked up plenty of experience and stories. We’re From Here tells the back-stories of both artists and takes us on a journey into their pasts. Nostalgic and reminiscent, it’s packed full of personality. Talking about the album, Miss Shevaughn says:
“We discovered so many wonderful people and places in our travels. We also discovered that there was a rock band inside of us waiting to come out.”
Most of the tracks on the record have an acoustic blues theme, which is particularly strong on Go Hang, Martha Ann, Anniversary Song and Morning Is Breaking. Accompanied by a simple acoustic guitar and plenty of powerhouse vocals, these tracks do really get to you. A huge amount of emotion is attached to them, making them tearjerkers that you’ll never delete from your playlist.
It’s not short of great duets either. Make It Out Alive and Cloin’s Lament are both backed by electric guitars which give them a tough edge. Make It Out Alive also has an electronic element, which I’m not convinced adds all that much to the track. It certainly stands out from the other songs on the album but I don’t think it really fits with the song. Cloin’s Lament’s acapella first 30 seconds are incredibly powerful and the inclusion of the harmonica gives it a classical Latin feel. The harmonies make it a track that you know would be an amazing live performance.
There are also a couple of tracks, such as Pneumonia and Lost My Way, which have a mystical, ghostly feel to them. Quiet whispery vocals and resonating feedback from the guitars acting as beacons across dark moors make both tracks very haunting. The River Made Me Do It has a similar spooky feel to it, although it’s much more sinister. The ever-present country guitar continues through these tracks, as a kind of comfort and something to fall back on.
Two instrumental tracks feature on the album. Mi Burro Esta En Fuego, translated as My Donkey Is On Fire, is a classic Spanish guitar number, which climaxes in a flamenco-style riff. No Grave To Brush The Dust From is another haunting instrumental, which is the best track on the album for chilling out to. The smooth guitar almost sent me to sleep and it seems to really massage your mind. That sounds pretty strange but it’s true!
A wide range of genres make an appearance on the album. Jazz is evident on The Factory Clock, soul is embedded in the vocals on Keep On Wailin’ and No Surprise is a great pop power ballad. Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray are both masters at merging musical genres and as a result, the album is pretty original and full of songs that aren’t like anything else. Although they manage to experiment, they know that Americana country and blues is their strength and it would be wrong to not class them as that.
For more on Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray, visit their website at http://www.missshevaughnyumawray.com