Boston-based acoustic duo Tall Heights delivers dreamy sounds on its first full-length album, Neptune.
Tim Harrington (vocals and guitar) and Phil Wright (vocals and cello) draw on folk music ideas but their sound moves beyond a roots-based context into progressive stylings.
Harrington and Wright have a vocal dynamic that is usually reserved for siblings. Their telepathic blending marks their songs with futuristic harmonies (Cross My Mind, Two Blue Eyes) that give the material mass and levity.
River Wider is a standout track that displays the duo’s vocal prowess to great effect and gives the impression that the band is breaking new ground.
They are uncannily tight and tracks like Horse to Water are an evocative display of sparse arrangement and keening harmony, driven along by Wright’s whining cello. The song is one of the closest to a modern folk pop style on the record and is reminiscent of Swedish sister duo, First Aid Kit’s dreamy songs.
Tall Heights aren’t as easily identifiable as some of their contemporaries and that quality gives their music some mystery and edge. But for all the fringe element character, the duo is a polished and melodic act with beautifully crafted songs that hold the allure of promise for the future.
– Dean Gordon-Smith is the longtime music critic for The Morning Star. His column appears every Friday.