Arthur & Yu. And you?

Thursday, 26 July 2007, 16:32 | Category : Uncategorized
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I couldn’t leave the new Rough Trade East shop the other day without making a purchase. This one was a bit impulsive, but luckily it turned out to be a good decision. I had never heard of Arthur & Yu before the Rough Trade weekly email hit my inbox on Saturday, but their album of the week is this debut release from the Seattle-based duo, called In Camera. It sounded intriguing, and turned out to be a treat.

First of all, they’re not really called Arthur and Yu. These are apparently the childhood nicknames of Grant Olsen and Sonya Westcott, who came together last year after serving time in other bands (Sonya used to be in Rogue Wave). The music they make comes across like a sort of lo-fi Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra, with a dose of Velvet Underground thrown in. Their set up is quite minimal, and apart from a little chirpy percussion, glockenspiels and melodica, the main focus is on the simple guitar chords, the lovely vocals and harmonies of Grant and Sonya, and a heavy helping of reverb.

But just because this is a home recording, doesn’t mean that a lot of care and attention hasn’t gone into it. It clearly has. This is a record that may lack technical sophistication, but has plenty heart and soul and is all the better for it. I’m a sucker for boy-girl harmonies anyway, but this for me stands above most other new stuff that’s come out recently. The perfect soundtrack to a rainy summer.

Download: Arthur & Yu – Flashing the Lobby Lights
Download: Arthur & Yu – Black Bear

Buy In Camera.

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