The fourth album from Irish duo Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech, aka The Lost Brothers, begins a new trilogy for the band with all three previous releases forming the first chapter of their musical journey. 2012’s The Passing Of The Night was recorded in Nashville under the watchful eye of Brendan Benson but after returning to their spiritual home of Liverpool and working under producer Bill Ryder-Jones, the former guitarist of The Coral, they’ve lost none of that country feel picked up along their travels.
Key to the band’s success has always been the blissful harmonies created by McCausland and Leech and this record shows a maturity that make the delicate intertwining of vocals and the wonderful musicianship seems remarkably easy.
The album begins with the instrumental ‘Spanish Reprise’ which is exactly what it says on the tin…European guitar twinges ease us into an album full of characters, stories and monologues of times gone by. ‘Days Ahead’ follows the opening track and is the most upbeat track on an album that’s otherwise more reflective and inward looking.
That’s by no means a bad thing, though, with The Lost Brothers’ talents for drawing us into darker tales and utilising those gripping harmonies to powerful effect. ‘Derridae’ introduces us to a character who comes with a warning whilst ‘Can I Stay With You’ is an old school country song about the protagonist looking for escape from a broken heart.
One of the more emotional moments comes on ‘Soldier’s Song’ – a story of a combatant reflecting on the loss of comrades and the unsure nature of why he’s even fighting in the first place. Lyrics like “See that graveyard with all my friends / When will I see their face again / Go get my lover on the phone / I do not know when I’m coming home” could be taken straight from a Sebastian Faulks novel with the mental torment of war time playing on every single emotion.
‘Stone’s Throw’ closes the record on a lighter note and gives hope that all is not lost and that beauty can come from the depths of despair.
There’s a deepness to these songs that’s straight from the folk and country handbook…The Lost Brothers are master story tellers if New Songs of Dust and Dawn is the start of a new series then the follow ups are going to be hugely anticipated.