Maine makes sense as a place where American music can absorb different traditions and produce a nice sonic stew. Its closeness to Canada and the beginning of the Appalachian trail, brings it in contact with a lot of French and Celtic folk music, as well as country. Locals and lovers Buck and Shanti Curran mine both tradition and some of the recent psych folk on this debut, and the results are beautiful, if not striking.
Sweet country-tinged folk tunes like ?Rivers and Rapids? ?which adds a nice surprising drone-and ?Shagg Pond Revivial? focus on Shanti?s ethereal vocals, with subtle instrumentation recalling British augmentations of the genre. ? ?Dance, Sing, Fight? the duo shares vocal work; their harmonies add much to the tune, and other songs here would have been served well by them, despite Shanti?s often amazing lead singing.
This is a great record that borrows from what every alt-folk band is borrowing from these days, but they make it sound fresh, and their compositional skills places them above most of the bands in the genre. A little more grit would have helped, but perhaps that is the Celtic influence. Gentle
is good too, especially in the right hands. 6/10 -- Mike Wood (27 February, 2007)