The Catenary Wires - Red Red Skies
Nancy and Lee, Nick and Kylie, Chas and Dave - the duets album has a long and varied history. Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey have been working together since the 80s in bands like Talulah Gosh and Tender Trap, but Red Red Skies sees them try a low-key two-hander that inevitably draws comparisons to those classic combinations, as well as more recent efforts like that of Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan.
At just under 30 minutes, there's not much to digest, with the eight songs rarely straying from the two voices backed with acoustic guitars and occasional appearances of keyboards and melodica. As befits two indie veterans, Fletcher and Pursey sashay around the form without ever breaking into a sweat, and while the Gallic-pop tinged 'Too Late, I Love You' toys with a more melodramatic air, the overall sense is of an album happy to play to an existing constituency. Lyrically, it's the angst of the middle-aged ("All the songs we listened to are over" - 'Things I Love') with none of the tearful drama of youth. In summary? Sunday supplement nice without ever leaving much of a mark.