Chris and Thomas

Land of Sea

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AllMusic Review by

Memphis born Chris and Munich bred Thomas have already made quite a splash in the U.K., while their debut, Vista Street Sessions EP, has flicked up some waves on this side of the Atlantic as well. Falling broadly into the indie folk or Americana bag, the duo have been compared to the likes of Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills & Nash; neither comparison really captures the pair's unique sound. For starters, Chris & Thomas never over-think their vocals, and much like the Everly Brothers their voices just seem to naturally intertwine, with the kind of easy perfection only achieved through many years of happily singing together. And the pair achieve the same with their instruments, flawlessly interweaving their acoustic guitars, (and occasionally banjo); rarely have two musical hearts so beat as one. However, what's equally striking about their debut full-length Land of Sea is the wistful atmospheres the duo inevitably conjure up, and the incredibly soothing auras, even as the pair glide across genres. Both the title track and "Bettin' on the Moon" are grounded in the blues, the former slides in just a touch of prog rock, the latter bubbles up into country, a style the duo slip into as easily as an old shoe. "Broken Chair" and "You're the One I Want," in contrast, sport a folkier feel, while "Isn't That So" and "Don't Hang Your Heart" both conjure up a taste of California, with the former's harmonies at times evoking the Jefferson Airplane, the latter falling towards Simon & Garfunkel territory. Moody melodies shadow all these numbers, and perhaps none more beautifully than the banjo flecked "Time to Find Out," whose gently surging rhythm under-lights the whole piece. "Horse in the Sky" showcases the pair's natural bounce, while "In My Time" bubbles along like a brook on a cascade of lovely guitars. There again, every track within showcases the pair's sublime musicianship, its beauty found in its very understatement. Filled with homespun lyrical wisdom and poetic touches revolving everyday concerns and matters of the heart, gorgeous music, and fabulous guitar picking, Land of Sea is a timeless set.

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