Review Archive

‘Seven Hour Storm’ – Misner & Smith - haunting melodies and softly engaging hooks

(January 15, 2015)

Released in the USA, Misner & Smith now release ‘Seven Hour Storm’ in the UK and Europe on 1 February 2015. It’s an album that skirts around the fringes of folk, dallies with acoustic, includes touches of electric and pretty much defies any restrictions of definition. The music stands alone for what it is and that’s exactly how it should be heard. The songs are poetic and piercing filled with reflections on journeys made, places lived and experiences felt, they’re based on real-life experience and observation. The illustrations that show the meaning and the words reveal the feelings both pulling strongly at lyrical depth built through haunting melodies and softly engaging hooks.

Their crafting of memorable tunes and fragile harmonies pours through the title track ‘Seven Hour Storm’ and continues with the questions of ‘Calling’ and the recognition within ‘Lost and Found’. There’s an easy simplicity covered with a multi-layered ‘build’ to the songs that evokes a glance back to a time within late-sixties folk. Take the insistent hope that seeps through ‘The Upside’, the clear understanding of ‘Lovers Like Us’, work with them through the harder electronic edges that cut through ‘Bird Street’ or the aching sadness that hovers around ’15 Months’. These are songs that bring reality back home, the places we all live.

Playing on ‘Seven Hour Storm’ are Sam Misner (vocals, acoustic, electric and 12-string guitars, finger cymbals, claps) Megan Smith (vocals, upright bass, keyboards, harmonium, mandolin, rice shaker, sleigh bells, claps) joined on selected tracks by Bruce Kaphan (electric nylon-string guitar, pedal steel guitar, piano, keyboards, 12-string guitar, dulcimer, percussion, maracas, claps) John Hanes (drums) Henry Misner (electric 12-string guitar) John R. Burr (piano, organ) and Jeff Kazor (claps).

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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