‘Beyond Brushes’ - Stables - an invitation that’s hard to resist

(July 26, 2016)

Here we go, another description that works, yet manages to miss the mark. Stables are referenced as an ‘alt-folk duo’, which may be how singer-songwriter Matthew Lowe and Daniel Rymer Trenholme see themselves. However, ‘alt’ anything always Beyond Brushes from Stablesruns the risk of marginalisation, define alternative as unconventional and maybe it’s a fitting interpretation of their sound. Unconventional perhaps, but in my view, Stables are worth considerably more than any restrictive definition.

Their debut album ‘Beyond Brushes’ releases 19 August - luscious, tight-as-you-like harmonies, songs that are sometimes powerful sometimes fragile, intricate instrumentation all laden with beguiling hooks and melodies that linger. The spread of influence across the album takes the listener through an intriguing blend of approaches and results, with no two songs following precisely the same path. Different going hand-in-hand with innovation.

From the outset, well-crafted observational songs like the involving ‘Eleven Hours’ and ‘Be Together’ flow around your ears and leave you waiting to hear more. The insistent drive of ‘Doors’ builds a quivering vocal patchwork over a percussive foundation, the title track ‘Beyond Brushes’ beats everything and invites you further into the Stables sound – an invitation that’s hard to resist, and another slice of their work, ‘Always Laughing’ takes some beating.

After hearing ‘Beyond Brushes’ there’s little doubt  that Stables have the wherewithal to take their sound some considerable distance.


Review: Charlie Elland

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