A silk web has the fascinating property of great strength, able to bear much more weight than its appearance would have you believe, often as impervious to breaking as steel. I’m reminded of it – the fragility of its aesthetic in direct contrast against its form – by two sisters from Holland, their dainty voices pirouetting on the velvety cushion of equally delicate strums and notes, holding aloft their portly burdens in a display of quiet, staunch aptitude.
Whilst defiance permeates the record’s soft fabric, it’s an exuded fragrance rather than an overt intrusion. There’s no baseless confrontation or assertion, just sturdy self-awareness in spades. The title track acts as justification for itself (“I wrote this song because I wanted to”) as a necessary means of channelling stifled emotions into something actual, leading into ‘Lonesome Man‘ and ‘Liar‘ as final calls – not abuse-laden torrents or vitriol – to acquaintances past from a door that’ll soon be locked.
Actively aiding that poise is the undercurrent of assorted musicians, each contributing small yet vital deftness. There’s the soft stutter of percussion and bellow of upright bass on ‘Because I Wanted To’, a podium for the girls’ newly-expressed courage, or the rippling sitar on ‘Liar’ which blooms into hair-raising choral crescendo with Fleet Fox-ian splendour. Even further to that is the intermingling of the sisters’ voices, sweet harmonies that are as preservable and sticky as pure honey – every time there’s an overflow into ‘doo’s and ‘ah’s, they brim with a measure more of glowing confidence.
And then, a crack in the porcelain; the soft manacles of from-afar affection take hold. One’s imagination is a double-edged sword, the cruellest, most wonderful facet of the mind, and ‘The Dreamer‘ dulls the blade. It’s the trying on of an expensive outfit in the fitting room, where momentarily you’re lost in the daydream of another you and all of the various futures you might inhabit. The sheepish piano chimes embody that unfulfilled urge, ready to act on the impulses but counteracted by dejected sighs of what will not be: “People narrow the view, only fragments of you left in my mind.” It subtly chips at the sense of resolve presented by everything prior, hinting at weakness that yearns to be treated, before leaving quietly, like a perfect stranger.