The internet is a luxurious tool for many reasons. But at its center its use as a device of connecting people and ideas to one another is perhaps its greatest resource. This happens to be the case for the transatlantic folk recording artists Crookhaven. The pair consist of American singer/songwriter Scott Dangerfield and French multi-instrumentalist and composer Bertrand Legrand. Over the course of two years the pair worked on tracks via email. The result of this long process has finally born fruit in the way of their self-titled debut Crookhaven.
The record opens with “Dear God” a melodious fun and free-wheeling folk tune that at the same time stirs the soul. It recalls the sounds of Andrew Bird, as the powerful vocals resonate against the perfectly plucked acoustic melodies and down-home and subtle rhythms. This bleeds wonderfully into the melodic lullaby of “A Million Miles or More” with its spritely acoustic finger picked guitar and honeyed vocals.
The pair pick up the pace a little on the hand clapping harmonies of “Moonshine Taker” and later show off their chops with the heart-wrenching romanticism of and Spanish style acoustic balladry on “Picture this Summer Day,” and then move into a poppier and more radio friendly offering like “Together Anyway.” The exquisite crowning jewel of the record is “Though I’m Scared of Needing You” which runs neck and neck with the brilliant and haunting final track “Creature” a song that makes you feel it beneath your skin it’s so powerful.
Hearing a record like Crookhaven reminds me that there are still musicians out there who are making music from the soul and for the soul. The fact that this duo lives oceans apart makes no difference in their abilities to sync their talents together over the Internet. The record sounds more alive than anything in the folk genre that I have heard for some time.
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