together they are superb...
Matt Clutton

12:28 27th February 2008

One is an incredibly talented singer/ songwriter whose work has deservedly been subject to a Mercury Music Prize nomination, and the other is an amazing singer/ guitarist whose musical family tree has more branches than the Jackson household .. well almost. Individually Kathryn Williams and Neill MacColl are great but together they are superb, their combined effort 'Two' is simply that, the uniting of two musical minds. Meeting initially at the Daughters of Albion concert at The Barbican a while back, the pair were drawn together to play MacColl's father's track 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', finding themselves mirroring each others musical instincts like a duo of significant years, there was an instantaneous desire to clinch the obvious connectivity and plans were set in motion to record an album.

'Two' on first impressions reveals a difference from Williams last release 'Leave To Remain' which was classed by some as an album closely related in it's overall feel to the folk sound of Devendra Banhart. Whilst there are certain tracks which retain some of the restrained autumnal beauty that was banded about by critics, Williams feels more like she has come in from the cold and the endless flow of prolonged thoughtfulness, MacColl offering a warmth and inner light with hushed vocals and supportive instrumentation.

'6am Corner' is archetypal Williams with a metronomic patter, it's melodies are dream inducing and doubly so thanks to a whispered vocal from both parties. 'Come With Me' the duos debut single release, tells the story of a couple at a party who are drawn to each other with an unrelenting passion and tackles the couples potential course. With a striking acoustic similarity to the composition of many a Norah Jones track and influenced in many ways by the likes of Laura Nyro or Joan Baez, the addition of MacColl adding depth on guitar and a high, soft vocal harmony completes the package of what is the albums finest track.

Every album from Williams to date has always offered superb acoustics and vocals, 'Two' is no different and doesn't disappoint, in fact the inclusion of MacColl on this one may well have made it her best to date.