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The Vespers - The Fourth Wall (Black Suit)

After a sweet, jangly and quietly self-released debut two years ago, Nashville-based four-piece The Vespers have returned with another richly melodic album of instantly loveable folk-pop songs.

THE FOURTH WALL, like its 2010 predecessor TELL YOUR MAMA, is brimming with those whistle-inspiring Americana songs that are an ad-man's dream; the ones that invariably end up on washing powder commercials due to their infectious melodies.

There is, however, a depth to this band's brand of seemingly buoyant folk-pop thanks to the breadth of musicianship and ingenuity. Those catchy melodic phrases, for example, are agreeably plumped out thanks to Callie and Phoebe Cryar, the band's lead vocalists, whose sibling harmonies are angelic and often preternatural in their courage and complexity, reaching, in several places, the dizzying heights of Larkin Poe.

Completing the line-up, brothers Bruno and Taylor Jones cite southern rock, folk and blues as their unshakable inspirations. As well as including a cover of Son House's Grinnin In Your Face, there's also a generous helping of bluegrass and gospel on this record, particularly in the ground-shaking prayer Lawdy and the banjo-frailing, old timey Will You Love Me. The album also benefits from a sprinkling of effervescent pop songs such as Flower Flower and the uke-plucking Jolly Robber.

Weaving in and out of light and lilting love songs, gritty blues numbers and Sunday spirituals, The Vespers have built upon an impressive debut and, if there's any justice, we'll be hearing much more from them as a result.

Liam Wilkinson
Northern Sky