320 kbps | 106 MB | LINKS
It takes a certain, frisky confidence to name your debut album so simply, but after more than 1,000 gigs and folk festivals together, Ross Couper and Tom Oakes aren’t exactly rookies. The Shetland-raised Couper has long been skittering his bow across strings with Celtic band the Peatbog Faeries, while the Devon-born Oakes teaches traditional flute at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; his intricate guitar-playing is a mere impressive sideline. These 10 tracks gleam with musicianship, featuring no guests and no overdubs, just the bright sound of two friends who know each other’s style inside out. The pace is often robust: Shetland Swing races and rages, while Sambuca explodes into feverish strumming in its middle, Couper tempering Oakes’ energy with his violin’s warm, direct rasp. The melancholy moments linger longer, though: Road to Loch is full of exquisite, sun-dazzled sadness, while the double-stopped drones of The Last Gasp, rather fittingly, breathe very beautifully.