The Catenary Wires

Til the Morning

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After well over two decades touring and recording with bands including Heavenly and Tender Trap, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey relocated to small-town Kent in 2014 with no immediate plans to make more music. It wasn't long, however, before playing their daughter's small-scale acoustic guitar led to the eight songs released on Red Red Skies, the gentler, bittersweet debut of the Catenary Wires. While it incorporated strings and subtle keyboard and electric guitar in addition to acoustic guitar, the follow-up, Til the Morning, features more expansive arrangements, adding instruments such as harmonium and trumpet and leaning more heavily on electric guitar. Still bittersweetly melodic and intimate in nature, Til the Morning opens with the spare "Dream Town," which begins with a simple electric guitar line before adding minimal piano and drums, tambourine, and alternating lead vocals by Fletcher and Pursey. What starts as a breakup song picks up strings and quietly trippy effects as they imagine Dream Town. Still restrained in terms of volume and use of soft timbres, a track like "Dark Brown Eyes" ventures into darker psychedelia with organ, strummed acoustic guitar, minor chords, echoing drums, and trumpet. Elsewhere, "So Quiet in This Home" opens with a recording of a domestic kitchen scene before taking a warped turn, while the self-doubting "I'll Light Your Way Back" offers a more straightforward, otherwise-elusive bouncy jangle pop. More longing than catchy on the whole, Til the Morning is still satisfying, with tender vocal performances and sophisticated chord progressions joining the lyrics in reflecting disparities between reality and expectations.

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