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Album Review
The Oaks They Will Bow

The Oaks They Will Bow
by The Tiny Lies

Lyttelton Records

Review Date
25th November 2013
Reviewed by
Hayden Pyke

Folk duo, The Tiny Lies, follow up on their haunting debut EP, Trials, with a new album showcasing intricate acoustic guitar and sweet harmonising vocals. That sweetness and kiwi accents seem to aid the pair in exhuming noir themes of dark South Island towns on this album with a certain gentleness.

Both Charlotte Ivey and Harley Williams share vocal duties, sometimes taking a turnabout and sometimes uniting to create lush melodies like on 'The Walls Came Down' and the title track. The delicate vocal balance appears perfectly weighted on 'Bag of Bones' with Ivey taking the lead with her reedy tempos then being joined by Williams for rushing choruses. The pair counter-balance each other on stand-out 'Down by the River' with the same sweeping flow propped up by rhythmic guitar.

The stripped down numbers add variety to the overall sound of the album, but in some cases lack the nuances the pair seem to be able to evoke on the fuller songs. 'Old Heart' and 'Two Pale Moons' have depth, especially with the backing harmonica; however, the abruptness to the storytelling is slightly jarring. They don’t hold this album back from being a sweeping sultry success though.


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