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Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou – La Ferme De Fontenaille

Lisa Ward

Triangle

The subtle hiss of the 4 track cassette recorder at the start of La Ferme De Fontenaille sets the tone for the album, adding a subtle nostalgic vibe which leaves it feeling almost like a talking sepia photograph. Opener A Proud Surrender is everything you’d expect from the husband and wife duo; acoustic guitar melodies layered over beautiful harmonies. Though overall it carriers a more subdued vibe than Quality, First, Last & Forever! this furthers the sense of nostalgia, offering up a range of stories which focus on love and death.

Even the more up-tempo melody of Two Strangers is juxtaposed by melancholic lyrics and as as they sing ‘I paint with colours that I wish that I could see, but there’s a greyness lately come over me’ it almost commands visual images, especially accompanied with observations of fading promenades and crumbling concrete façades. Meanwhile Grand Tales in Tired Covers leaves Hannah-Lou to take solo vocals, and though this showcases the crispness of her voice and the intricate finger picked melody of the guitar, it also serves to highlight just how the duo reach their pinnacle when they’re duetting. The song also screams of sorrow, and a longing for another.

With just acoustic guitars and the occasional harmonica and tambourine, the whole album feels minimalistic, tinged with warnings, especially in the likes of Never More Than A Moment. Though it focuses on mortality, somehow it becomes an uplifting song which pushes you to grab life with both hands. With the album self recorded in the south of France and released on their own label, closer The Day The Rebel In Me Dies feels like a well timed declaration of the album’s intent. A sense of force at the end of an album which is all about doing it their own way.

It’s a slow burner, conjuring images of rural Britain and yearning for yesteryear. Yet in a world of short lived pop refrains, it’s an album likely to stand the test of time. Overflowing with imagery and emotion, each listen brings a new focal point guaranteed to draw in the listener, again and again.

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