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My immediate response to this CD was one of confusion. The goofy name, presented on the cover in about five different fonts, made me think it might be some kind of joke, but then when I look closer, and indeed listen, it’s actually quite serious, pretty, minimalist melodic folk songwritery business with lots of gentle guitar twinkling and hushed vocals for a soft, warm listen.
Investigating further still, this turns out to be a father/daughter collaboration between Gene Bryan Johnson (“The Pad”) and Becca Johnson (“Hazeleye”) - now I’m not even sure if the bad Apple pun is intentional. They’re churning out some pretty tunes with guitars and pianos and quiet (but very high in the mix) vocals. The vocals seem to be split between the two of them; Hazeleye contributes a mixture of soft radio soul stylings and sentimental spoken word, of which I prefer the former and don’t enjoy the latter, and The Pad has a soft slightly husky delivery which is quite effective in places like the summery gospel-soul of ‘Such A Beautiful Thing’, but when he gets louder and more dramatic in ‘All I Want Is You’ it’s not so palatable.
The whole thing is very American-sounding and the vocals are constantly very high in the mix which is sometimes a little bit offputting but sometimes works really well. ‘A Dream From Yesterday’ has some pretty cool weird submerged beats and slinky harmonies that are very pleasant, and in ‘Butterflies and Fairytales’ they’re blurred into an ambient, droney invocation which is heady and inviting and much more up my street. Mostly this is a collection of gentle, sentimental indie-soul with tasteful, concordant tunes. To be honest I like it best when they don’t sing.
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