Reviews:: Utah Carol Rodeo Queen

Yesterday was the first really spring day I’ve seen in Vancouver. I heard it was nice when I was in the UK, but I’ve never seen any concrete proof. Yesterday, Nic and I opened the patio door and let the sun beam in while we cooked.

Any such day needs great theme music, and yesterday we both embraced the sounds of the Chicago duo – Utah Carol. The album is a dreamy collection of boy girl harmonies, which when Jinja takes the lead, sounds remarkably like hearing the Softlightes unplugged, that warms your heart like a nice summer day. The jangle laced Kimberly Smiles uses a simple percussion beat and subtle guitar notes to create a light, summery feel. This effortless energy continues for the duration of the album as the songs float along like clouds. It’s the type of lazy Sunday vibe we all loved before that youche from SNL changed the definition.

As is often the case with bands like this, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A gentle twang is a pretty common description, but the duo adds horns, slide guitar, and vintage organ textures to beef up the mix, without interfering. The gentle gallop of Ruby uses a delicate slide and a simple whistle and some horns to create a super cute country ditty.

It’s quite easy to leave this disc on, as the subtle variations between tracks blend together nicely, but the duo isn’t a one-trick pony. The tempo kicks up on Sam’s Ranch, and the extended intro is a nice break from the normal pace the band travels at. The drum machine on Northern Skies and the foot stomp of Twilight Time keep you listening, but more often than not, the band likes to mosey (Can I Ride with U?).

This record won’t blow you away, but when the sun is shining, and you want nothing more than to relax on your deck with a cold beer in the middle of the afternoon or a nice cup of coffee to start your day.

MP3:: Ruby
MP3:: Sam’s Ranch

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