Friday, June 21, 2024

When Rivers Meet – We Fly Free

Married couple Grace and Aaron Bond, have for the last year or so, been gathering admirers for their blues rooted music, releasing two EPS and gaining Radio 2 national airplay.

Theirs is a vocal-led raw sound, with both singing, put primarily Grace who also plays mandolin and violin, while Aaron plays guitar, and often slide style.

Their debut album was produced by Adam Bowers, who also drums throughout and his sense of rhythm is an important factor in who you will appreciate the tracks as a collective whole. He also adds piano and organ, as does Robin G Breeze on the latter alongside bass. The music is not so much minimal but leaves space and room for the songs to breath… And while you may not think these songs were recorded in the Delta there is a countryside feel that might make those in lockdown ache for a fresh air a little,

‘Did I Break The Law’ is the questioned asked on We Fly Free’s opening number Heavy on the bass drum, with deep driven slide guitar, compelling female vocals expressing a lust for life before shifting into a fuller formed rock boogie, her vocals sweeter against the tougher blue- based sound keeping it compelling and catchy – Just released as a single, you can catch the video for it right here at RAMzine.

‘Bound For Nowhere’ follows and is the realisation that not everything’s going to be plain sailing in life. There’s a more harrowing broken chorded, darker Celtic groove to this roots rock number, that again latterly pounds into rocking life. Grace’s voice echoes in tragical refrain throughout.

‘Walking On The Wire’is a more standard blues, Aaron’s slide awash in the manner of Jimmy Page, both singing and an incessant Native American chant feel come the choruses. ‘I’d Have Fallen’ goes beyond the more obvious, not least because of the percussive and violin playing elements – There’s an R ’n B/soul ethos here, remixed by right person this could have an even more trip-hop appeal.

Why Snow Patrol come to mind on ‘Battleground’ I’ve no idea, its driven sound once more bears both a Celtic and Native American vibe. ‘Kissing The Sky’ by comparison is all about the libido, riff rocking away with sexy swooning vocal hooks. For ‘Breaker Of Chains’ there are male lead vocals over stomping blues boogie, and joint vocals in the chorus where the tempo rises, while ‘I Will Fight’ ironically slows things down for an electric folk madrigal feel. ‘Bury My Body’ follows aptly, being a mournful melodramatic number with haunting vocals and a Gilmour styled blues solo that drops in, make its statement of expression and leaves as affairs get heavier towards the end.

This is a hard-hitting slide-driven Rock song from the get-go—just the way we like it. While writing this song we knew it was going on the album, especially when we added psychedelic slide Mandolin lead breaks!

Sweet but dark, a murder ballad in essence, but again there’s this soul/hip hop underbelly though ‘Take Me To The River’ wears the mantle of slide-drive rock initially. ‘Friend Of Mine’ is just guitar, a little bass and haunting vocals, then it’s all change for stomping vintage blues rock in ‘We Fly Free’ and a psychedelic edge added in ‘Take Me To The River’ wherein the album ends.

Essentially, 4/4 boogie blues with folk rock ambiance, a modern-day female-fronted Medicine Head perhaps. One might think that  over a series of songs things could get repetitive but there’s a compelling intimacy that overcomes that, and it would be interesting where that leads them creatively in the future.

‘Battleground’ is out as a single now, and you can buy it here.

We Fly Free will be available on CD, coloured vinyl and as digital download on Friday 20th November and you can pre-order it by clicking here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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