Perhaps more famous than a band’s music is the band's attitudes. Some bands make great music together, but behind the scenes it’s quite a different story. Money, drugs, men, women, children, drugs, money - these things are all ruinous when it comes to partnerships. It was kind of the opposite though for the Nashville based duo Trevor and Sylvie. They first met in California when they had both been cast in a folk musical Lonesome Traveler. They discovered they had linked passions, one of them being music, and so they moved to Nashville to begin performing together as a couple. But it took them a long time to become such good co-writers and collaborators. But you wouldn’t know that when listening to their debut record Time is Free.
There is a certain sense of friendliness on Time is Free. The songs have an openness that so much music doesn’t seem to have these days, everyone trying to hide pain in some sort of well-meant but often confusing blunder of clichés and symbols, metaphors and things that just pine for sympathy so much it makes a listener want to turn away. But on Time is Free Trevor and Sylvie take their folk/country songs and open them up and speak in a clear and often clever and funny language, you know the kind we use everyday. It gives this record a great sense of compassion and feeling. It’s more relatable than maybe they could have ever imagined.
Time is Free opens with “Love Don’t Run on Money” a hand clapping and heart-tugging honky tonk of a tune that sees the pair trading off vocal duties in the way of having a conversation. One realizes right away that there is plenty of theater background between the two of them and also how well the pair plays off of each other, combining to become like one force rather than two. On “Stolen Flowers” they paint such a beautifully vivid picture of a couple with no money getting married in borrowed clothes and of course with stolen flowers.
Time is Free has so many perfectly wrought classic country songs on it that it sounds more like it came from long ago in some other time. Songs like the banjo and fiddle driven “Washer Woman” which ends with a magical vocal harmony and waltzing piano melody of “Build this Love” and the sing songy playfulness of “Opposite of Love.”
Time is Free is a reminder of how much great music is being made out in the world, and is scarcely heard outside of certain circles and communities. I imagine what it would be like to stumble onto this record and listening to it for the first time, not with a critical ear but an open heart and love of music. The opportunity is there for so many listeners to have this meaningful experience. It’s one you’ll want to revisit over and over again.
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