‘Applewood Road’ by Applewood Road (Album)

12 February, 2016 in Music Reviews

Applewood Road

Applewood Road: Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Speace unite their writing talents and their voices

Exploring this charming debut outing from the Nashville three-piece uncovers thrilling harmonies, flavoured with hints of folk, country and gospel

Applewood Road album coverWhat began as a meeting between three songwriters in a Nashville café back in September 2014 has now spawned an impressive debut album. Recorded in the city’s Welcome To 1979 Studios, the minimal production allows the songs to speak for themselves and it’s clear that the trio of Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Speace made the right decision when they decided to unite their writing talents and voices.

The strength of the record comes from its thrilling harmonies, which light up every song from the moment the singing begins on the title track. Instrumentation is bare; an upright bass (Applewood Road), banjo (Old Time Country Song) or drum (Rowboat) might add some additional accompaniment but they always remains the supporting cast, deferential to the main attraction. The way their majestic voices melt into each other on Home Fires is a serious accomplishment.

The main focus is on sweet love songs and simple lullabies, flavoured with hints of folk, country and gospel, and the album exudes a powerful sense of serenity. It is the quiet confidence that must come from knowing just how great you sound together. Nowhere is this more apparent than on closing track My Love Grows. Uncomplicated, endearing and timeless, Applewood Road have found the magical formula.

Verdict: Three is the magic number

Duncan Haskell

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