Folk music’s transformation over the last few years has now reached the stage where it’s bored with itself. A folk single is now a pop single; all of which seem to feature some choir inadvertantly yelling “Hey!” at every bar. I’m awaiting the day where this fad dies out because some talented acoustic acts are chosing to avoid the gimicks. The London-based folk rock duo of Blue and Bordeaux show what we’re missing out on with their song “Know Me Well” from their newest album, Wanderlings.
Candice and Dave McMillan (the duo known as Blue and Bordaux) are both talented singers who control their notes perfectly on the ascending notes. Candice’s vocal style offers a wistful desparation where Dave’s are grounded, modest, and conservative. It’s a great contrast. The folk instrumentation is minimal and doesn’t try anything too wild. The simplicity of classic acoustic guitars, single bass notes, and live drum set allows their voices to shine.
Lyrically, the two opening similes might be bothersome for a few listeners. I’ll just quickly touch on the first one: “Free like the wind in the storm, I am free.” It sounds like freedom is being compared to itself. It’s almost like saying, “Blue like ocean, the sky is blue.” It’s more of a reiteration than a comparison. The second line walks a similar circle with the word “whole.” Perhaps change that first word to read something like, “Just like the wind in the storm, I am free” (or something a little more poetic than my weak substitute). I’m an English nerd, so I’m going to notice these things.
As for musical alterations, I can imagine a single violin being a nice accompaniment to this track. In the spaces where there aren’t any vocals, a violin riff may help color the silent air. Candice’s voice has a melancholy beauty and the violin’s sadness could really feed off of that. However, I praise this song for avoiding the overload of bluegrass/acoustic instruments. If anything like a violin should be added, it’s crucial that it fit right and not sound too abrasive. The song emphasizes the artists’ strengths and it’s important to keep it that way.
Blue And Bordeaux is a duo folk/rock act based in London, UK. Their debut album, ‘Wanderlings’, is now available on all good online music stores.