Monday, March 31, 2014

The Civil Wars

Have you ever heard a song so beautiful it almost hurt, but in that weirdly poetic way that it feels good to feel at all and be alive and know that there is good in the world? That's how I feel about The Civil Wars. Whew. I don't listen to them often, but I never regret it when I pluck their album from my collection and just let it play (like, right now).

The Civil Wars are a folk duo that has great range, even if their work is very simplistic. They could play anything and excel. But they've chosen folk and done a wonderful job with it. Joy Williams has an undeniably beautiful voice, complemented wonderfully by John Paul White's grittier vocals and guitar work. The music isn't complex but it still packs a punch. Word on the street is that they've broken up - I'm not sure if that's as a band or a couple? - but if that's true, that's unfortunate, but they would certainly be ending on a high note. And then they become one of those legendary duo's that kept it short and simple and in my book, could do no wrong... not a bad thing. (Although I would be overjoyed if it was all just a myth and we have more to look forward to instead!)

(photo source)

Best Song:
Although I do enjoy the softer side of folk, my personal favorites have a rock edge to them. "Barton Hallow" from the album of the same name certainly fits in that camp (see also "I Had Me a Girl" from The Civil Wars). If you like it a bit more mellow then check out "To Whom It May Concern" and "The One That Got Away" (probably their most popular single; and I would say that was a good choice. I don't think it's my favorite, but damn, if it doesn't get stuck in my head. I'll sing that sucker for days after hearing it.)

Oh! And I can't forget -- "Billy Jean". And you're like, wha? The Michael Jackson song? YES. And they kickass. I'm usually on the fence about covers. Even if I like them, I still prefer the original in most cases. But this time, I think they did better than MJ. I did not make this decision swiftly or take it lightly, but I stand by it. Considering the appearance on songs appearance on both their LP Barton H0llow and the EP Between the Bars, I think they know they did a damn good job too.

Listen Now:

"Barton Hollow"

"Poison & Wine"


"Billie Jean"


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