Bottleneck Late Nights, Early Mornings

Combining classic country songwriting with some modern Britpop savvy, this Vancouver quartet has quickly become one of the best-loved outfits on the left coast. With this latest effort, they have honed their sound even more, crafting a richly textured 13-song album that alternates between Scott Smith and Robyn Carrigan’s individual bittersweet odes. After a few of these trade-offs, the album becomes almost like a conversation between the two, adding to Late Nights, Early Mornings’ lush construction. Carrigan’s “Minefield” is a perfect relationship song, to which Smith replies with the more forceful, but equally touching, “These Dreams of Mine.” The wide variety of instruments the couple is able to utilise doesn’t hurt either, with only bluegrass wizards Zubot & Dawson and a makeshift horn section needed to fill things out on a few tracks. A thoroughly impressive release from a band to watch out for. (Black Hen)