British folk duo The Rabbitts recently came out with their debut LP, Tall Pines & Tangled Vines. The album was inspired by The Rabbitts’ sojourn in British Columbia, Canada. Fully acoustic, all the instruments on the album were performed by the duo, Odhran and Lucy, and include mandolin, harmonica, mandola, guitar, percussion, whistle, and bass.
Living in a van to save money for their album, The Rabbitts directed all their energy into the LP, which was recorded at Orchid Studios in Vancouver, using vintage recording equipment.
In 2017, The Rabbitts dropped their debut EP, Avocado Ginger Tree, receiving more than 60,000 track downloads.
The duo formed over four years ago, when Odhran and Lucy were studying Environmental Science in the U.K. Odhran asked Lucy if she could help tune his guitar. One thing led to another, and before long they were The Rabbitts. Inseparable, they have traveled Europe and Canada, seeking inspiration for new songs.
Tall Pines & Tangled Vines contains 10 tracks. The highlights include “Wild,” a comfortable folk tune that starts slowly and adds energy when the rhythmic elements kick in. The best part of the tune is the haunting harmonica. Unfortunately, the vocal harmonies lack cohesion and texture. Lucy’s voice is delicate and fragile, while Odhran’s reflects deeper tonality. As such, they fail to mesh. Still, the song exudes sonic allure.
“Luna Lupe” is the best song on the album. The folk tune exudes warm, gentle energy and the vocal harmonies blend because Odhran’s voice takes on more restraint. “Bud Burrow Blues” is a blues-flavored folk number, featuring a deliciously wailing harmonica. The feel of the song is Mississippi mud, while the projected mood is dusky and melancholic.
“Midnight Moon” reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,” like a baroque lullaby. On this tune, the duo’s voices shine forth with more potent sonority.
Tall Pines & Tangled Vines comprises a tasty collection of folk tunes that, for the most part, should please aficionados of mellow folk music.