Wednesday 5 August 2015

Two White Cranes - Radisson Blue

Article by KevW

Knocking out two full albums in a year isn't bad going (so long as they're good - and they are), but then Roxy Brennan has been making music in various guises and bands for around a decade now, and is currently also a member of Grubs and Trust Fund, so being prolific seems to come naturally. The Two White Cranes project takes its name from the pair of construction cranes she walks beneath every day in her home city of Bristol, and musically the sound is probably what the term "indie-folk" should sound like. Much here (take 'I Tried' or 'Brighton' as good examples) is just voice and guitar, yet it never begins to take the shape of turgid singer-songwriters who are given that same tag.

Other songs are full band affairs, with 'Adler' being a particular favourite. Yes, you can pick out a folk twang just about, but there's no pretending to be from a different era or trying to ape the genre's tired nuances. If looking for comparisons, then Cate Le Bon is singing from a similar hymn sheet, and there's perhaps more in common with certain underground guitar bands; 'So Much Water' could slip onto an indiepop collection, minus the dreaded "twee" aspect. There are moments where she bares her soul too, with the aforementioned 'Brighton' making it clear that doubts creep into her mind on occasion, likewise 'Strange'. It may not be traditional folk, but it's still storytelling.

As a solid body of work, 'Radisson Blue' works very well, and as good as the quieter tracks are, it's when other instruments are used that the most memorable songs are found. 'Minto Road' has drums that seem to tumble over each other, and 'Resilience' takes a slower build, but when the crunching guitar drops in it begins to resemble early '90s alt-rock. The most frenetic, and perhaps the most unusual addition in that it has little in common with the sound of the rest of the record, comes with closer 'We Grew Up' which sits somewhere around the point that punk began morphing into the early indie of the 1980s. It's a final rush on an album that merges the vulnerable and introspective with tracks the contain more clout, and it does so with ease.

Two White Cranes' website

Stream or buy the album

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