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The Rails - Australia (Self Release)

Star rating: 
4

Opening with a pretty faithful version of The Trees They Do Grow High, apparently learned from a Martin Carthy LP found in a an Oxfam shop in Holmfirth, the tradition apparently continues. The Rails, namely Kami Thompson and husband James Walbourne, have been seen out and about both as an acoustic duo and with a full band, the latter pretty much in respect of touring their debut album FAIR WARNING. On this seven-track EP, the duo return to a sparse, bare-bones format, which focuses on the duo's delicious harmonies. Throughout the seven songs, it's clear that the two musicians sing with each other regularly. With unflattering mug shots gracing the cover of AUSTRALIA, the EP, which comes in at 25 minutes, is clearly a fine companion to their debut album and reveals a duo that in all fairness should break into the big time any time soon. The traditional songs including I Wish, I Wish, a song regularly performed by The Unthanks, the Music Hall inflected Willow Tree, recently a live staple for Eliza Carthy, along with the title song, complemented further with the appearance of the duo's take on Edwyn Collins' Low Expectations, together with a brilliantly evocative original courtesy of Walbourne, The Cally, which delves deep into his own London background.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky