The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow (Music CD)

Release Date: 05 March 2012
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Joy Williams and John Paul White aren’t a couple, but they certainly sound like they’re in love, singing together with the sort of familiarity that only seems to exist between couples and siblings. On Barton Hollow, their studio debut as the Civil Wars, the two trace each other’s melodies with close harmonies that never fail to lose their romance, even on breakup tunes like “Falling.” It’s an organic, folk-pop sound not unlike the one made by the Swell Season, another boy/girl duo with a talent for making heartbreaking Americana. If the Civil Wars are America’s answer to that band, then “Poison & Wine” is their “Falling Slowly.” An aching, gorgeous tribute to a relationship on the rocks, it’s one of the few tracks to include more than an acoustic guitar, with some piano and soft drums also making their way into the mix. Even so, the focus remains on the band’s vocals, which are easily the best instruments on Barton Hollow. Those who don’t like rootsy ballads are in for some slim pickings, since Barton Hollow shines its brightest whenever the tempos slow, the lights dim, and the voices rise up. But the title track, with its outlaw lyrics and swanky Southern groove, is a nice change from the norm, and “I’ve Got This Friend” finds a balance between both camps. Good stuff. ~ Andrew Leahey
Release Date: 05 March 2012

1. 20 Years
2. I've Got This Friend
3. C'est la Mort
4. To Whom It May Concern
5. Poison & Wine
6. My Father's Father
7. Barton Hollow
8. The Violet Hour
9. Girl with the Red Balloon
10. Falling
11. Forget Me Not
12. Birds of a Feather
13. Billie Jean
14. I Want You Back
15. Dance Me to the End of Love
16. You Are My Sunshine
17. Goodbye Girl (Acoustic/Bonus Track)
18. Marionette (Demo/Bonus Track)


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Catalogue No: 88691941852