Light & Deft is a very pastoral EP, all hillside wanderings and poetic musings. There’s a slight undertow of darkness that’s accepted rather than rebelled against. Lush accompaniment (strings, accordion, brass) and a rising pace on the second track, my favourite, ‘Irton Fell’, plus sweet boy-girl duetting, suggest that Dear Winesburg have lyrical muscle in the midst of their brooding.
Frontman Chris sometimes sounds shy, but his voice comes into its own, like a gentler Nick Cave, with hints of Bill Callahan. This strength can only grow, singing from the chest not the throat – for now, Light & Deft is a promising beginning, albeit with tentative moments, like a wobbly newborn deer. You can see a performance here.
Words by Becky Varley-Winter