‘Rise’ from Skinner & T’witch - this duo has a lot to offer(January 26, 2015)
One of the hardest parts about making music is, in the words of one of my colleagues, ‘making it different’ and as I began to listen to ‘Rise’ from acoustic duo Skinner & T’witch ‘different’ definitely came to mind. Sadly, a feeling that didn’t quite stay throughout – some of the tracks certainly pull you into the album but despite their presence and attraction, the development seems on occasion to falter. That’s not to say this duo don’t have a lot to offer. Steve Skinner is a man with a commanding touch on guitar moving effortlessly across multiple styles, T’witch has a hauntingly rich voice and with the inventive guitar of Mike Jordan, they deliver a blend of acoustic folk, touches of flamenco and original material.
Much of their music comes with an otherworldly feel as they explore pagan, historical and pastoral themes through ‘Dance The Moment’, ‘Castles in the Sky’ and ‘King of the River’ with moody vocals hovering over finely picked melodies. Their exploration turns to loss and acceptance through ‘Sleeping Rough’ with a perfectly-placed cello adding emphasis. Prime among the narrative songs that make a difference, are ‘Past Lives’ with its time-spanning story relating centuries-worth of experience and the deeply felt anger of ‘God, where are you?’ as two voices portray various characters and experiences.
The album is certainly worth time taken to listen but that occasional touch of 'sameness' sometimes gets in the way, and that’s a shame. From hearing ‘Rise’ I suspect there’s a wealth of material on tap that this duo pour into their set list, the album just needed a touch more of the difference that obviously exists.
Reviewer: Charlie Elland