Sisters Rachel and Torrey Russell know how to reach the heights of melodic vocal interplay. Their debut continues a recent trend of artists finding fertile inspiration in early 70s soft rock, that much ridiculed, but oddly comforting and sometimes genuinely poetic genre. Sonnet Cottage’s “Another Time” offers ten rootsy songs that are fun, gorgeous and catchy. Lead by guitarist and writer Kent Heckaman, the Virginia duo’s offer their amazing vocal abilities in service of acoustic based songs that display an adept and confident songwriting sense. As with the best songs, these are often personal, intimate expressions of larger emotions and issues we all share.
From the haunting ballad “Little Did I Know,” to the jaunty “Letting It All Go,” Sonnet Cottage tinker with their basic delicate pop sound, as on “Root Beer Stand in Afghanistan” or “Trail in the Wind,” displaying some bite underneath. But their real meat is in harmony and timeless ballads with beautiful imagery, of which “Waterfront Park” and “Most Unlikely,” are only two.
“Another Time” is a lush record filled with poetry, humor and whimsy. Sonnet Cottage are surprisingly accomplished and confident for a debut. They know their sound and know how to make it work magic. There are many moments of magic on “Another Time,” and many more to come, no doubt, from Sonnet Cottage.