Lewis and Leigh – Night Drives EP

Lewis and Leigh - Night Drives

Lewis and Leigh – Night Drives

Album: Night Drives Label: ALM?Slight Matter Tracks: 4 Website: http://www.lewisandleigh.com/ „The whole is more than the sum of its parts“ is true for phenomena of good things inspiring each other to become even better than they are on their own. This couldn’t be applied in any more suitable way than to Al Lewis and Alva Leigh that together form the fabulous band Lewis & Leigh. Sounding proof can be found on their debut EP Night Drives. It’s 4 tracks of constant goose bumps – it’s an EP full of love and yearning, longing and late night drives – the title couldn’t have been chosen any better. Her vocals make his vocals sound even better, stronger, more special than they already are and vice versa. Their harmonies are inventive and sometimes daring, not as predictable as they sometimes appear to be. The fourth track is a beautiful Wilco cover. Usually I am not too fond of covers on EPs, nor on LPs really to be frank. But in this case it just fits in so well with the other three songs that it would have been a great shame not to take their delicate version of this song on their EP. His tender guitar playing accompanied by her piano is absolutely captivating, besides their already mentioned magical vocal qualities. Their songs are country driven but there is a lovely folk note in their music, which might partly be due to their way of focussing on the vocals: Both of them sing in a sort of held back way, that is to say, there is always room for more. There are lots of different nuances in their singing, especially displayed in the third track, Anchor Line. Also in All Night Drive their vocals get enough space to enfold beautifully and grow into quite an emotional tone to then calm down again. It’s a beautiful waltz with a lovely instrumentation, including mandolin and pedal steel guitar sounds by BJ Cole (Elton John, Elvis Costello). Yet, the slight changes and modifications in their singing to me is the secret of their uniqueness, paired with the vibes they bring in from their respective natural and cultural backgrounds: Al Lewis being a huge admirer of Dylan Thomas‘ poetry, and like the great poet originating form Wales, whereas Alva Leigh is a Mississippi native who is just as proud of her home as Al Lewis is of his. This seems to be a fruitful texture for creative song writing, lyrical contrasts and musical richness. To me they are one of the best mixed duos in the country. The EP’s opening track What is there to do has made it on the BBC Radio 2 playlist – that looks like a good start, doesn’t it?

10/ 14