Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray -- We're From Here

Thanks to The Civil Wars, the alt-Americana scene seems to have seen a resurgence (or at least a renewed interest) in male-female duos: Shovels and Rope and The Parlor Soldiers, to name two, have started to garner critical acclaim. But they should all step aside for Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray.

I earmarked the duo a couple of months ago after watching their video on Couch by Couchwest. I kept pushing them to the back of the queue -- fortunately, yesterday's release of their debut album, We're From Here, has given me the impetus to tell you all a little more about them.

The crackling intimacy in the above video is expanded a thousandfold on We're From Here. If I had a million dollars, I would pay Miss Shevaughn to sing me to sleep every night for a year. I'm not picky -- she could Skype or phone it in while she's on tour.

This album is many things: despairing, contemplative, vengeful, loving, personal, political. There is one thing it is not: lazy. There are musicians who have worked all of their lives to produce the perfect album, but Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray have pulled it off in one shot. Though the first track, "Go Hang" is a stunner, once the duo hit the electric guitar crescendo in the middle of the third track, "The River Made Me Do It," We're From Here never looks back. Every beat, every note from Yuma Wray's off-kilter licks, every distinctive moan and tremble delivered by Miss Shevaughn is carefully, beautifully placed. Expect to see We're From Here again at the end of the year -- it's one of the best albums that's come my way this year.

Plus, they have a truly amusing Twitter feed. How many people can you say that about?

Go Hang
Cloin's Lament
Anniversary Song

Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray -- Official, Facebook, Twitter, Buy We're From Here

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