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Music Review: Hope For Agoldensummer - Life Inside the Body

Hope For AgoldensummerHope For Agoldensummer
Life Inside the Body

Available now on Mazarine Records
(May 1, 2012)

At times, the voices in this Athens trio adopt the timbre of instruments typical of their genre: violins and musical saws. Simple folk harmonies and plucked guitar strings seem equally suited to float on a breeze through summer’s open windows or hang in the air of a winter burrow. 

Life Inside the Body is founded on slow rhythms and old-fashioned close harmonies. A cappella tracks like “Cold Cold Bed” and “Come Back” reveal a seemingly effortless intimacy between the voices of sisters Claire and Page Campbell. Other tracks—“Come On,” “Day Glo Grey”—add instrumental accompaniment, but keep a pretty straightforward folk feel. The album is full of nuanced variation. While individual songs slip into sub-genres, consistent vocals and pacing hold it all together.

Hope For Agoldensummer band photo The band is at its catchiest when edging into folk-rock territory. Tracks like “Daniel Bloom” and “Shining Heart” borrow rock’s backbeat for added texture. “Daniel Bloom” is the star of the album, with ghostly, lyricless vocals and an enchanting guitar hook that immediately lure listeners into the song’s fold. “Shining Heart” is not as immediately catchy, but after a slow build, listeners are rewarded with an unexpected leap into a joyous, longing refrain. 

Other songs offer an even greater departure from tried-and-true folk. The changing rhythms, bit of discord, and vaudeville feel of “Annie,” and the wispy, high harmonies and playful lyrics of “Come Over” are welcome experimental departures. These slightly eccentric vignettes seem the band’s richest terrain for potential growth, especially if they can keep the tone more sultry than cute.

Hope For Agoldensummer was born of wishes: a reunion of two sisters, an escape from the cold and dark of winter. Musically and lyrically, the band seems to represent both the wish-come-true and an understanding that such wishes cannot last. Claire and Page Campbell may be together, crafting soulful indie-folk with musician-producer Suny Lyons, but winter will return and these souls may part ways—if only to reunite later. It is fitting, then, that Life Inside the Body seems a bridge from sorrow to satisfaction and back again.

 

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