Luke Hirst, Sarah Smout - Findings
Owain Paciuszko 04/10/2010
Singer-songwriter Hirst and cellist/songwriter Smout have teamed up to create this sweetly flavoured taster of an impending LP. Open track Old Piano is a acoustic guitar led ballad, Hirst and Smout sharing vocal duties, and there voices sit reasonably well together, but the song as a whole glides along a steady track with little emotion put into the performance, even of the bittersweet nature, and ultimately the song is pleasant but forgettable.
Four Years Away introduces Smout on cello, and her moody arrangments and a military drum rhythm help this very folk styled number to grab the ear. It's in the instrumental sections that the song works best, the repetitively plucked acoustic guitar a nice counterpoint to the weaving sound of the strings. Closing track Born To Live begins with acapella half-hollered vocals that seem half-hearted, they sound more fitting once the track gets going, the acoustic guitar providing a pleasant enough melody off-set by Smout's tremelo. Hirst's voice is lacking the balance that Smout's voice provided on the first track, and it would be nice if they shared vocal duties a bit more on this record; though perhaps it's hard to play cello and sing at the same time (I don't know, I can't do either).
As a record on its own there's not much to get excited about here, there's a certian of ambition unfulfilled to the arrangment of the songs. As an album sampler it's an equally confounding proposition, there is potential in this partnership, but the tracks on this record don't give you much faith that they've managed to realise that just yet.