Devon Sproule & Mike O'Neill
For all the reasons that duos come together, few will have this one in common. Indie folk star Devon Sproule found Mike O'Neill through her Low-Key Karaoke project, which sought collaborators to record remote video duets that could be mashed together. You can certainly see why this unplanned long-player ended up coming about. There's almost a brother-sister quality between Sproule and Nova Scotia-based O'Neill, whose group The Inbreds go back a couple of decades. Sproule has been active for a good part of that time herself, and certainly isn't waning on this evidence. These songs unfold the more you feel your way through them, with deceptively simple structures and melancholy undercurrents that drift between words without quite catching hold of them. The Fan is a good example, with its lazy folk-jazz and discreet horns and closing words that seem to anticipate a lover's feelings fading. You Can Come Home, with its choppy understated tempo, is another highlight. But really there's very little to fault on what is a lovely, accomplished collection.