Mourning Dove: Chrysalis

Fans of First Aid Kit would do well to check out this promising debut.
Mourning Dove
CD Baby

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which folk tradition Mourning Dove favors, which is far from a bad thing. The duo of Lisa Stubbs and Niel Brooks seem to view classic English folk and Appalachian traditions with equal fondness, resulting in a debut EP that sounds tailor-made not only for those who remember Fairport Convention or Nick Drake, but also for fans of lush, lilting modern acts like First Aid Kit or Lily & Madeleine.

The disc’s five songs are characterized by Stubbs’s clear vocals and by subtle acoustic guitar interplay, as well as a sense of twilit magical realism in which flowers spring from palms and music reverberates through the rocks. “Flower Song” comes in on an insistent bass line and violins that build a sense of unease before settling into a pastoral pace, while a pedal steel-limned cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” not only mutates into an unexpected and fast-paced dance rhythm, but it also comes full-circle with the rhythms that dominate the end of “Mourning Dove”. Chrysalis is a promising debut, and one that’s over far too quickly.

RATING 7 / 10