Brooklyn songstress roommates, longtime collaborators, and bestie brunettes Christy Edwards and Emily Manzo have hipster cred out the wazoo. So do loads of other borough-based bands, but few have the raw talent of these two singer-songwriter women—a label that hardly defines the true depth of their talent. Their music, at times hauntingly sparse, reverberates with their lush voices and minimal instrumentation, often just Christy’s guitar or Emily’s keyboard. Sound cloying? The opposite is true. There is nothing pretentious or difficult about this album.
On No Rest, their second release this year, the gals focus on teasing out their folk influences, veering away from their psychedelic roots. At the same time, they maintain their sound experimentation and focus less on complicated lyrics. Lines like “Why not live a life of truth/Like your siblings” could be as autobiographical as they could be creative poetry put to music. No matter that their words are uncomplicated; every sound out of their mouths is truly beautiful, and there is additional beauty in simplicity.
“Idle Hands” has some of the best rhythmic composition on the album and draws to mind a more serious Girls Guitar Club, starting Christy and Emily instead of Karen Kilgariff & Mary Lynn Rajskub.
“Here Comes the Water Now” is a nod to natural disaster—and how unfortunately timely. The nearly rhyming lyrics—which pay off at the end—kept me fully engaged with the story as well as the music.
Better decide on what to bring Take a look around at everything There’s only so much time will allow Here comes the water... now
Closing track “Amaryllis”—which is coincidentally my favorite flower—uses the annual as a metaphor for periods of light and darkness. If you’ve never cared for these bulbous houseplants, just know that they’re like any other bulb. After blooming in the spring, they require months of darkness during the winter. In my experience, this typically means putting them in a large paper bag and tucking them in a dark corner until the springtime frost has vanished. C&E no doubt like these big horn-shaped flowers, as they’ve dedicated a whole song to them and sing, “Oh how lovely the plant you keep in the dark.”
From the album’s opening line—“I’m not scared of what I can’t see anymore”—to the sonic waves, gorgeous vocals, and wind chime-type sound effects, this album will mesmerize you. Let it.