Best Albums of 2011: #10

The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow

Of all the acoustic indie folk duos that have appeared this year, The Civil Wars have continued to stick in my mind throughout the past twelve months. they've been written about extensively so far, but there is something very special about the interplay between the two members of The Civil Wars. Yes, it's the creative harmonies and yes, it's the intricate songwriting. In fact, I could compliment the technical and musical accomplishments of Barton Hollow for days -- yet in many ways there is something beyond words about how well these two musicians' styles, voices, and personalities match.

"More than anything else, Barton Hollow and the band itself is very much about the 'civil' fashion in which we wage war against our loved ones. The civility of it all is apparent enough in the music; the harmonies that Williams and White sing are almost agreeable and pretty to a fault. There is no clutter getting in the way, just the pristine clarity of an acoustic guitar and two brilliant singers. However, beneath the surface, there is an undeniable tension in the conflicted lyrics and darker musical shades. The best example of this tension might be in their single "Poison and Wine", where they sing, "I don't love you/but I always will". Williams calls this darker side of the music the depiction of the idea that "beauty can be bittersweet and truth can be hard to swallow"."

Read my whole review here.

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