Album of the Month
The prospect of an award from FolkWords is unlikely to ensure artists undying fame. It does however, recognise work that we consider outstanding and wave a flag for albums that we feel you should invest some of your hard earned beer tokens to acquire. We reflect on all the albums our reviewers cover each month and select an album to recognise as FolkWords 'Album of the Month’.
Previous album choices: 'Album of the Month Archive'
June 2017 Album of the Month: ‘No Heaven' Chapin-Wickwar
This music doesn’t come from the head, it comes from the heart. And that’s where ‘No Heaven’ from Chapin-Wickwar hits you, in the depths of your humanity, that place where your soul resides. Back in 2015, acoustic duo Sue and Lisa Chapin Wickwar released ‘If…’ a debut album lusciously delivered, emotionally rich and powerfully candid ... now comes ‘No Heaven’ and once again forges a pure and perfect connection between artists and audience through nakedly revealing and sensitive soul-baring songs.
Opening with the beautiful ‘I Am Ready’ you’re immediately aware of the synergy that exists between this duo, a languid softly-delivered melody holds the confessions of ‘Afraid of Love’, while within its reflective musical presence ‘Black & Blue’imparts its harrowing message. The title track ‘No Heaven’ is as revealing as it gets and most people will relate, the heartache of ‘Leave Me Here’ is almost too much to bear and ‘I Will Wait’ is capable of softening the hardest of hearts ... and if the power of ‘Refugee’ is heard in the right places, it may become an anthem for change.
For those that know Lisa and Sue, there’s the same deft touch on the strings, never too much, always just enough. There’s the same fluid intermingling of harmonies. There’s voices blending perfectly to breathe life into superlatively emotive lyrics. A follow-up is often described as ‘that difficult second album’ ... ‘No Heaven’ is clearly a labour of love, given the personal presence poured into it, however with this album Lisa and Sue have proved that the second can surpass the first.
Chapin-Wickwar is a musical partnership based on shared love, shared truth and shared expression ... ‘No Heaven’ allows us to share that experience ... and it’s something well worth sharing.
Playing on ‘No Heaven’ are Lisa Chapin-Wickwar (vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar) Sue Chapin-Wickwar (vocals, rhythm guitar) Ray Turley (harmonica) Gaile Stevens (piano) and Richard Casson (bongos).
Review: Tim Carroll