REVIEW: Days Are Done – ‘Closer’ EP (Available August 25th)

I lived near Kingston-upon-Thames, in Surrey just south-west of London, for a couple of years, and I can tell you one thing: it is not a hotbed of country music. It’s a typical town centre, with a big ring road running through it and the Thames running alongside it. There aren’t many music venues but there is a great guitar shop just over the bridge.

Perhaps this is where Adam from Days Are Done purchased his instruments; maybe he met Emmy there, or on the walk along the Thames, and a spark was ignited. On this four-track EP the pair share the vocals, often uniting in the chorus after they each take a line or a verse.

Named after the majestic Nick Drake song Day Is Done, the band have moved across from acoustic folk to country, an easy transition to make as emotion accompanied by guitars is uncategorisable. Ashton Lane, Two Ways Home, Gasoline & Matches and Days Are Done form a batch of acts who meld the deeper male voice and the alto female voice to stunning effect, just like the Carter Family, George and Tammy or Dolly and Porter. Man and woman, united in song.

Colours is the most beautiful track on the album, with a descending vocal line which matches the minor key of B-flat minor, which is awfully sad. The brief snatch of B-flat major, when the chorus comes in, is magnificent; the arrangement, with strings in the right places and a great grasp of the musical term ‘ritardando’ is stunning and some top-notch artists could be covering this song in the future.

You, with a heavy stomp on the offbeat, is a good tune, and a good choice of first single. ‘I can’t leave you alone,’ the pair sing to a piano accompaniment which emphasises the guitar line. Never Let You Go is slightly more up-tempo, with a shimmering guitar introducing a song where both characters are ‘made of glass’ and ‘dream in black and white’. There is great dedication to relationships on both tracks.

On My Mind starts gently with a soft strum and a first verse sung very high up in Emmy’s vocal range for extra pathos; the second verse is an octave lower, showing the skill of the two vocalists. The lyric quotes the great song ‘always on my mind’ as the singers, and includes a nice lyric about a note thrown into the tide.

Incredibly the band have already featured on WSM Radio, the station that runs the concerts at the Grand Ole Opry, and on BBC Radio London. If that doesn’t persuade you to give these fourteen minutes of bliss a try, nothing will.

Jonny Brick

WEBSITE: DAYSAREDONE.COM