Scarlett Jane Stranger

Scarlett JaneStranger
Having been friends for over a decade, alt-country darling Andrea Ramolo felt it was time she teamed up with fellow Canadian songstress Cindy Doire for an official collaboration. Both are accomplished singer-songwriters and fantastic performers in their own right, and together they offer a mean one-two punch under the moniker Scarlett Jane. Blending close harmonies, tight songwriting and their respective fiery spirit into their ten-track debut, the pair are off to a good start. Given the resurgence of country-folk duos, the timing couldn't be better, but it's going to take more than sultry, countrified bravado for the pair to get their piece of the pie. Fortunately, Stranger stretches beyond sizzling alt-country numbers, bristling with glossy hooks, offering some laidback moments of dusty, back porch confessionals – here's where their soul-filled vocals and aching lyrics, both intimate and yearning, come to the forefront. Producer Stew Crookes (Hawksley Workman, Justin Rutledge, Doug Paisley) adds old school warmth and a honeyed glow to Stranger's soundscape; his input culminates with stunning closer "Burning Up." Ramolo and Doire's hymn-to-lust builds around the echoing of bleak piano chords and an electric guitar as dark and plaintive as their haunting vocals. Layer by layer, the song swells with increasingly intense percussion, picking up a faster pace on the way to its crescendo. It's an empowering finale for an album whose lyrics had up until then suggested resignation to lost love and loneliness. (Independent)