Alt-country duo Two Ways Home have released a new 4-track EP, Closest Stranger and it sounds as authentic as you would expect from something that was recorded in Nashville.
Having listened to the EP on repeat, it comes as something of a surprise to learn that the band comprises of London-based duo Isabella Mariee, originally from Vienna, and Lewis Fowler, who was raised in Gloucestershire. I would have put my money on them hailing from somewhere across the Atlantic on the evidence of this collection.
Their influences can clearly be heard across this release. The guitars jangle and the harmonies are slickly delivered in the great tradition of all things country music – whether that’s the more traditional style or the newer alternative take on the genre.
This is their second EP and the first garnered a great deal of radio play at home and abroad. There is no reason why tracks from this release shouldn’t make it to playlists around the globe.
Their latest collection is a result of a return visit to Nashville for a spell of songwriting, mixing and mastering. It was time well spent on the evidence of this, as that trademark Nashville twang can be heard on the opening song Best Part Of Me. It highlights the twin singing talents of Mariee and Fowler. It’s Fowler who takes the lead on this track but the vocal duties are equally shared across the EP to good effect.
Where the opener has a radio friendly sheen to it Push And Pull is more authentically alt-country. The music is stripped back, but the vocals yet again shine through.
Don’t Give Up On Me is a beautifully sparse number that sounds like a call out to a lover to be there no matter how the course of love runs. The title track and closing number Closest Stranger is another jangly number that is as radio friendly as he opening track is. It’s hard to pick between track one and four as the standout numbers.
It‘s a collection of songs that makes you long for more and that augers well for the album that will hopefully follow in due course.
You can catch the duo in Liverpool in action, where they will be playing at the Folk on the Dock festival. Saturday, August 26, at 11.30 am.
Paul Clark is a freelance journalist/writer, with a keen interest in music of many genres. He has been a sports journalist mainly throughout his career, but is finally following his passion and writing more about music.