In an alternate reality, The Swell Season are not from Europe, they’re from the US. They still play heartbreakingly beautiful music with perfect harmonies and a chemistry that seems impossible. Actually, that band is in this universe and they are called The Civil Wars.
I first heard about this band in December when they had a short write-up in Paste Magazine (our dearly departed print mag, now a digital publication). Their full length debut, Barton Hollow, dropped last week and has been the #1 album on iTunes ever since. Pretty impressive for a band that hadn’t had much press until last week.
Their music is folk rock with a Southern Americana feel to it as well. The vocals of Joy Williams and John Paul White seem to be a match made in heaven. As their harmonies dance together, their lyrics of love and loss lilt to the listener’s ear. It’s a rare perfection.
So pick up one of the first truly great albums of 2011. As a taste, here’s the superb music video of one of my favorite songs on the album “Poison & Wine”: