THE SASKATCHEWAN cousins 2018 album, The Siren's Song, was steeped in late 1960s British folk-rock, with clear nods to Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Anne Briggs.
Carrying On though (with produced again handled by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy ) is resolutely centred in North American country and roots-rock, and is more sombre, yet more intimate than its predecessor.
Here are low key songs about shame and the struggles to make ends meet ('The Forty Ninth Parallel' ); fleeing an abusive relationship ('In A Time Of Doubt' ), and fear for one's life ('Spare Me Over One More Year' ). Hope comes in the form of love, portrayed as a kind of divine salvation ('Intervention' ) and the power of music to allow, at least some moments, of escape and solidarity ('That Sweet Orchestra Sound' ). Above it all soars Kacy's magnificent, majestic voice. Poised somewhere between Sandy Denny and Emmylou Harris - she was born to sing this kind of music.
The pair's fascination with 1966-1972 remains, as seen on the sleeve, and heard in Tweedy's production, which make the songs sound like they were recorded back then, as opposed to this year. Yet, get past such dressing and what emerges is a work of substance and grace. It lacks the couple of stand-out tracks which made The Siren's Song so noticeable, but it feels more like the true sound of the duo, moving slowly past their influences, and more definitely towards themselves.