'White Flowers' is the debut record from Lutine, the sparsest of folk duos comprising of artists Heather Minor and Emma Morton. Their understated, decidedly meek recordings concentrate on vocal harmonies, guitar strums and enveloping flourishes of piano. Rather than modernising the genre, Lutine take from various folk traditions, including neo-classical and baroque.
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I caught the end of Lutine's set at Supernormal this year and was in thrall to the heavenly vocal harmonising inherent in the floral, purist sound these two ladies kick out. Over a faintly distracting (harmonium?) drone their choral folk trilling enters the fray under the title 'Espera' and by heck, these lassies can sing. Onto title track 'White Flowers' which is a more sombre piano-centered piece whereas the subsequent 'Synnove' has crisp lightly strummed acoustic guitar and warm Rhodes keys to frame their tender classicist intonations. Aside from some subtly deployed accordion and strings (viola?) these are largely the main ingredients scattered throughout; you really don't require anything else.
These are sad, intimate songs rooted in deep folk tradition but given a contemporary lease of life by virtue of the beautifully spare and sympathetic arrangements that cradle these two electrifying, pitch-perfect voices. It's not an easy CD with which to skip tracks, you feel like you're kicking an angel hard in the face by merely cutting those delicious tones short. A sublime, heartfelt collection from the ever-canny Front & Follow stable.
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