Published Mar 26, 2020Love and Leave You, the latest outing from Edmonton folk duo 100 Mile House, is a delicately crafted set of 11 folksy tracks that serves to lay bare the inner workings of a maturing relationship. The group's principals, Pete Stone and Denise McKay, take a soft approach to focus on the strengths of the songs themselves, which serves to underscore the intimacy of the subject material.
Musically, the arrangements come across as very sparse, despite the addition of a swath of instruments. Oftentimes, an acoustic guitar is only complemented by the addition of a combination of piano, mandolin, violin, cello, or in some cases, a full string section. Collectively, it's an approach that gives everything an earthy and grounded feel.
Vocally, Stone's singing has a gentle and deliberate texture that is further tempered by McKay's delicate harmonies. Highlights include the ethereal "River" and the reality-check-laden "Light Goes Out."
100 Mile House continue to impress with the intimate set of tunes found on Love and Leave You. It features quality songwriting and high-end, but sparse, musicianship throughout. It's a record chock full of much-needed escapism in these trying times. (Fallen Tree)