320 kbps | 109 MB | LINKS
The Rough & Tumble is the folk-Americana duo of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler.The duo’s sound is clean and straightforward, placing the vocals of Graham and/or Tyler front and center in the mix. But The Rough & Tumble doesn’t shy away from studio techniques like vocal overdubbing; the disc’s opening cut, “Wildfire,” features multiple tracks of Graham’s supple voice (with a subtle bit of Tyler mixed in) atop an instrumental backing of little more than plucky banjo and what sounds like either accordion or harmonium, and bits of tinkling bells and bass drum. Those elements are all that are needed to create a sympathetic soundscape for the vocals.
The uptempo, countrified “Complications” employs a more pop-leaning arrangement, with bass guitar and a small (but full) drum kit providing solid rhythm-section backing. Even when the pair’s lyrics take an occasional turn toward the melancholy, there’s an underlying sense of happiness (or at least optimism) that leavens the vibe. And the voices of Graham and Tyler — both of which avoid the affected, mannered tone so prevalent in much of today’s Americana — combine seamlessly.