Review Archive

‘Unseen Highway’ Two Coats Colder “… experience of becoming one with the music’

(March 11, 2015)

I heard Two Coats Colder play at the Folkstock festival in 2013, and they made an immediate impression with their individual style and self-penned progressive acoustic folk. Sometimes a band can make you feel part of their Two Coats Colder debut album covermusic, the connection transcends performance and you find that you’re swept up into the songs. It’s a rare treat when that happens, and with Two Coats Colder it happens with an easy stylishness. Their album ‘Unseen Highway’ perfectly replicates that live engagement and within its 12 tracks that elemental experience of becoming one with the music remains.

The first time I heard them play they made an immediate impact with the stunning ‘Six Thousand Miles’, if ever a song strikes at our heart then this one does, and it’s the opener to this album. From there they move broadly across experience, narrative and influence. There’s a dip into maritime history with the touching ‘Sailor’s Tale’, the salutatory story of ‘Truth and Lies’, an acute examination of the human condition with ‘The Devil Rode By’ and the recrimination and uncertainty of ‘Mirage’ Their melody rich music blends an essential English folk vocals with striking mandolin, echoing Indian harmonium and driving bass to punch home the message. Their songwriting takes them down a host of different paths some noble and safe, some dark and frightening, from the shivering confusion of ‘Reasonable Doubt’ through the eternal hope of ‘All Inside’ to the gentle harmonies of ‘So Alive’, there’s a journey that you’ll want to join.

Two Coats Colder are Ray Taylor (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, harmonica) Anna Bass (vocals, Indian harmonium, percussion) Chris Bullen (bass guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals) and David Baird (mandolin, classical guitar, backing vocals)

You'll find them and ‘Unseen Highway’ here:

 Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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