Under Review

Kathryn Williams & Neill MacColl



Review By Melissa Smith

With its cover art containing a meteorite with a vaginal looking gash (created by Williams), a Tom Waits’ cover song, liner notes listing a shed, basement and garage as recording venues, potential listeners might expect a recording that is dark and foreboding. Add to this mix the accompanying instrumentation of dulcimer, autoharp, organ, harmonium, melotron and flugelhorn, descriptors such as experimental and quirky come to mind. Yet these preconceptions could not be farther from the delicate and soothing sounds found on Two. Produced by Phil Brown (the Stones, Zeppelin and Roxy Music), this beautiful offering of sun-dappled folk represents a week long collaboration between the musicians on the occasion of their third meeting. Released to unanimous critical claim in the UK in 2008, the melodic and understated Two finally hits these shores.

Although the entire album from start to finish is like being wrapped in a warm and favourite blanket, Tom Waits’ “Innocent When You Dream” is especially memorable and will leave you dreamily humming even after the first listen, while opener “6am Corner” is a great way to start those sinuous days when the world can pass by unheeded. “Armchair” is a sweetly sardonic refrain about finding comfort in the familiar when life just becomes too overwhelming. This sentiment sums up the recording as a whole; it is like an aural cocoon—safe, warm and welcoming—and listeners may very well emerge transformed after listening.