The 0's: We Are The O's

~ Monday, 14 September 2009
The O's are Dallas duo Taylor Young and John Pedigo and their style of music is soaked in America's rich folk heritage, a melting pot of bluegrass and Americana. They arrive with an impressive pedigree having appeared in early incarnations of the Polyphonic Spree and Young Heart Attack, but their unplugged and impassioned sound has little to do with their past.

This album sounds like it was recorded late at night on the porch of a North Carolina shack with all the neighbours nodding knowingly in approval of the young un's getting the music that has always been in their soul. There are no frills on here. It is acoustic guitar, banjo, some percussion and plaintive vocals, but that is all that is needed. The duo have an ear for painting from the pop palette, but on an old canvas. This is music that does your heart good.

Opener You've Got Your Heart is a classic slice of Americana driven by Pedigo's banjo and sets the feel for the rest of the album. If Neil Young was to get back to basics and record an acoustic album, you would imagine that it would sound pretty much like this record.

Not all the tracks work. I Still Wait works right up till the chorus, then the overly aggressive vocals kill it stone dead. This is a temporary blip and the guys are back on track with the bittersweet Don't Waste Your Day and the blissful Together. Both masterclasses on how the traditional can also be current.

If you are a fan of Avett Brothers or David Childers (What do you mean who?), then you'll love this. This is soul music from the heart of America, warm, inviting and endearingly charming.

[][][][] (4/5)