If 2011 was the year of the singer/songwriter – microphone gripped in white knuckle fashion, decanting lamentable tales of lovers past and fading summers – then 2012 is the year of the duo.
And none is more deserving of immediate attention than Nashville's The Civil Wars. John Paul White and Joy Williams are storytellers; fusing their countrified honeyed tales and complex vocal arrangements with helix-like perfection.
Their debut full-length Barton Hollow not only racked up two Grammy nominations, but caused audible reverberations across the Atlantic, from those championing their gothic folk strings and willowy sugar-coated bleakness. They’re already making fans; Adele chose them as her support act for both her UK and US tours and they’re part of the line-up for The Hunger Games soundtrack. We can’t help thinking that it’s their provocative chemistry that’s so unique – she's the epitome of cool southern insouciance playing against his gin-soaked, gravel and honey laments – it’s a duel of the very sweetest kind.
Barton Hollow is out now on Columbia
The band are on tour through March 2012:
Mar 13 Birmingham, HMV Institute
Mar 16 Manchester, Academy 2
Mar 17 Lancaster, Library
Mar 18 Leeds, Metropolitan University
Mar 19 London, Shepherd's Bush Empire
Mar 21 Brighton, Komedia
Mar 22 Bristol, 02 Academy
Mar 23rd Edinburgh, Queens Hall
Mar 24 Isle of Skye, Big Top
Words: Anita Bhagwandas