BrightSide Blue is a singer/songwriter duo consisting of Lindsay Bellows and Ananda Vaughan. Two Hearts, One Take is their debut EP featuring five tracks of guitar and vocals. Recorded at a friend’s studio, the pair tried to capture authenticity and heart with their music, pulling from the Ani DeFranco quote used on their website “People used to make records as in the record of an event, the event of people playing music in a room together.” The result is a mix of intimate and raw songs pairing Vaughan’s jazz- trained guitar playing with Bellows’ broad range of soft vocals.
The album begins with “Return Home” which has a long pretty guitar intro followed by the start of Bellows’ crisp soft vocals. Bellows’ voice is very pleasing to the ear and has a calming peaceful vibe about it. The song was a little slow moving, but overall very pretty and sweet. I enjoyed the second track “Walking” more and felt it had a more of a universal feel. The lyrics about wandering for the sake of wandering is relatable yet poignant. Vaughan’s guitar is folksy, jazzy and understated all at once and makes a great accompaniment for Bellow’s vast vocal range.
“Raven” brings out more funkiness in the guitar melodies along with an interesting upbeat vocal melody as well. The message of bringing darkness to light makes for a unique lyrical message that I genuinely enjoyed.
The standout track for me was “Freedom.” By starting the first few bars a cappella, you can really hear the quality and originality in Bellow’s voice. It’s a very poetic song, both in lyric and melody, and has a swaying, flowing aura about it. The combination of fluent vocals and melodic guitar was beautiful and captivating.
The final track “Home in My Heart” showed a different version of Bellows’ vocals with a more raspy, deeper sound. Singing in the lower register worked really well with the jazzy tempo of the guitar. I found the lyrics a little cheesy at times but overall really dug the song.
Two Hearts, One Take is a very impressive debut. Since you’re not focusing on the production glitz, you can really focus on the sound, feel and lyrics of the music. I thoroughly enjoyed Bellows’s voice and thought it paired perfectly with Vaughan’s intricate guitar melodies. The lyrics were descriptive and original and worked well with their folksy sound. Since this is the first album from BrightSide Blue, I look forward to their evolution and future EPs.
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