The voices of Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson are as powerful as their message of hope on this cathartic record
Almond & Olive are comprised of singer-songwriters Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson and the pair are ably assisted by various stalwarts of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music on their new album. That this debut was paid for by a successful Kickstarter campaign suggests that they already have an army of listeners, eager to hear this first offering.
After the plaintive opener We Will, organ and harmonica join the party for the title track. Alm’s vocals occasionally falls over the edge, adding emotion to their message. There’s seems to be a story of acceptance and caring, perhaps not surprising considering the duo met while working in animal welfare. The border-busting ballad Endlessly lays out this message as Alms proclaims ‘we are more or less the same.’ It’s this combination of technically accomplished musicianship, emotive vocals and a sympathetic message which underpins much of Standing At The Precipice.
On the Mumford & Sons sounding Get By they declare ‘I will stand against the world, I’ll fight them with this song.’ There’s also a romantic undercurrent which finds Alms and Davidson vocals at their most harmonious, Long Night and Can’t Stop, ably assisted by some fine lap steel on the latter. The gospel-inspired In The Dark is a rallying cry that raises the roof with its repeated refrain ‘love is only what you make of it.’
Even when their message of hope is tinged with regret, as on Mulberry Hill, the music of Almond & Love is a soothing tonic. Over the course of this promising debut they fully justify the fans financial faith.
Verdict: Inspiring indie-folk