From the Fields
The Carrivick Sisters will immediately endear themselves to Backroads readers by endorsing the Backroads philosophy in the lyrics to their song “If I Had Time”: If I had time, I'd always travel the backroads, Going slow so I could see the view.
These twin sisters from Devon are prodigiously talented: they are both multi-instrumentalists, and sing and write their own songs. Charlotte is an impressive flat-picking guitar player while Laura specialises in fiddle, but between them they add dobro, mandolin and banjo. As singers, they both have beautiful clear, assuredly English, singing voices. Taking turns on lead vocals, it's difficult for the casual listener to tell them apart, and this is turn means their harmonies are spot-on.
Musically, this album finds them switching between bluegrass and folk. The bluegrass influence is most apparent on those songs where Laura picks up her dobro, and on the two tracks where B.J. Cole joins them on pedal steel. That's not to say they could be mistaken for an American band, as their music always has a rustic English quality about it. And when Laura switches to fiddle, and also on the unaccompanied song “From The Fields”, you'll hear quintessential English folk.
Of the songs they've co-written, “Garden Girl”, is the bright and cheerful if somewhat slight album opener, while “Today is a Good Day” is a frothy yet delightful song about getting up and telling yourself it's going to be a good day, and the simple pleasures that ensue. They also write separately, and Charlotte offers the impressive “Song Of The Night” in which she perfectly evokes the songwriter's curse of trying to capture in the cold light of day the elusive melody that fills your head in the middle of the night. Despite the album's overall cheery ambience, that doesn't stop them throwing into the mix a murder ballad and a couple of tales of doomed love.
Even though this is their fourth album, and the sisters have been performing together as a duo since 2006, they are still only 21 years old. Given this, it's perhaps not too surprising that some of the songs sound a little imitative, but with age and experience it's to be hoped that their songwriting will mature and grow to match their instrumental dexterity.
The Carrivick Sisters are currently touring the UK in support of From The Fields, and are undoubtedly worth watching out for.
The Carrivick Sisters on Backroads.