Residential Bliss

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The gist Catchy, harmony-infused tunage, characterised by deft songwriting and an absence of irritating folky sincerity. The music British duo Chantelle Pike and Hannah Dean, also known as Eyes for Gertrude, have unveiled their first full length album and it proves to be a very listenable debut. The long-awaited self-release showcases the pair’s songwriting partnership, begun at Dartington College of Arts. Intelligent, occasionally witty, lyrics about real life, regrets and dysfunctional domestic scenes dominate the track listing; there’s clearly a heavy dose of irony to this residential bliss. Recorded in Vancouver and produced by Ben Mink, Chantelle and Hannah’s stunning vocal harmonies take centre stage, accompanied by the kind of piano and guitar hooks that get stuck in your head for days. Multiple influences make for a unique sound that is never tired or constricted. The album treads a neat and considered line between genres; almost pop, almost folk, resolutely indie. And you’ve got to love a band who can carry off an accordion without taking themselves too seriously. Listen to “Rag and Bone” – The opening track and a previous single, pacey and witty, it sweeps you up into the narrative. “History” – Wistful and atmospheric, heavy on the strings and easy on the ear. “Julian” – A hauntingly melancholy, piano-based track and the first the duo ever wrote together. Listen if… you like Lucy Rose, Fleetwood Mac, Belle & Sebastian, Feist, and anything involving decent harmonies or an accordion.