EP Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson
Robert Jackson and Alicia Best, the Anglo/American duo professionally known as A Different Thread, return with this five-song EP, which effectively bridges the widening chasm that would normally be filled with live shows up and down the country and further afield. Consisting of five familiar traditional songs, the EP takes no getting into and no getting used to. The duo’s unfussy arrangements and raw performances, as if recorded in a quiet, unassuming space, create an immediately accessible and intimate experience. It’s as if Robert and Alicia are right there in the room with you, as close to a live show as we are currently allowed to get.
The lead song, “Red is the Rose”, is delivered in Alicia’s unmistakable North Carolina inflection, interspersed with Robert’s empathetic, yet relaxed harmony. Nowhere does it feel that either one is taking the lead, it all seems uniquely democratic throughout with lots of sharing out of the verses. A long time enthusiast of The Band, I could only be delighted with the acapella take on “Long Black Veil”, the haunting vocal blending only adding to the songs’ mysterious feel. Some Distant Shore will put us on until we meet again in person, which will hopefully be soon.
Choice Track: Red is the Rose (NSV 502)