Terrible Sons – When I Don’t Speak
My latest song of the week award goes to Kiwi duo Terrible Sons, made up of Lauren (AKA L A Mitchell) and Matt Barus (of DUKES), for their new release When I Don’t Speak. The pair have been releasing one track a year since 2015 and each has made for compelling listening. Now they’re set to release their first album in September.
This ballad has stirred something inside of me the more I’ve listened to it. The verse begin withs a gentle guitar strum and short piano melody which repeat over each other. Their simplicity and the softness with which they are played give the song an immediate tenderness.
Then add to the mix the beautifully performed vocals and When I Don’t Speak takes on a whole other layer. Together, the duo’s contrasting voices create an emotional sound which can be prone to sending shivers down your spine. This effect also seems to come about for me when it builds into the stunning piano solo towards the end.
This song is soft and simple production wise. The lyrics, melody and vocal performance carry enough weight on their own and producer Ben Edwards is clever for recognising that. I particularly recommend playing this track and soaking it up when you need a quiet moment, or on a slow and rainy day.
I for one can’t wait to discover more songs like when their album release rolls round in September.
Neptune – Terrible Sons
This last week I’ve been a happy girl. I’ve been impatiently waiting for some new material from the wonderful Kiwi star LA Mitchell for a while now. Granted, Neptune might not be quite the same powerhouse soul-pop I’m used to from LA (aka Lauren Barus) but this offering from side-project Terrible Sons, is just as spine-tingling, albeit in a different way.
Terrible Sons is the moniker for Lauren and her husband, Matt Barus. Of course these two aren’t newbies on the New Zealand music scene, the pair are both part of rock-band Dukes and each have stellar reputations. This is the first track from their soon-to-be-released album which brings together a bunch of songs telling the tales of life in Christchurch after earthquakes destroyed much of the city.
Neptune is a mellow offering which resonates with me. I’m certain this is due to the lovely contrast in the voices of Lauren and Matt. I’m used to hearing Lauren’s voice booming in her solo work, I love that style of hers, but this I love too. Neptune showcases a different side to her which is just as compelling, even if it’s not in such an attention grabbing manner. Her vocals take on an ethereal quality as they float alongside Matt’s silky and soothing accompaniment.
The delicate song is carried by a gentle acoustic melody which is brought alive in the chorus with the introduction of a chilling violin. With this, Neptune ebbs and flows in tempo and volume, creating a melancholic magic much like the beautiful ocean scenes depicted in the video that goes with it.
You also can’t go past the stunning lyrics in Neptune. Lauren and Matt Barus are poets as well as multi-talented musicians:
“black is the storm, ill-tempered and too hard to please”
“pain is so sharp, sharp as a lover can be”
If you like the works of Sean Carey and RY X, you’ll love Terrible Sons. Neptune has a similar tone to their works and is the perfect track for a bout of easy but compelling listening. I’m now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the duo’s new album.