Reverie by StablesRelease date: February 23, 2018
It seems two right things happened to Stables, a duo that pairs Matthew Lowe of Keston Cobblers Club and Daniel Trenholme. Firstly, they hit a right note. Secondly, somebody heard it. Quite a few somebodies actually, since they managed to sell out their debut album Beyond The Bushes (2016), have headlining tours around the UK and Europe and appearing at the Glastonbury Festival…
It could have been that the initial first pair of ears belonged to BBC Radio 6 DJ Steve Lamacq, but it probably has quite a bit to do with the fact that Low and Trenholme are doing something right, and on the evidence of their sophomore effort, Reverie, they are. Otherwise, the promo concert for this album at London’s St. Pancras Old Church wouldn’t have been sold a few months ahead of it.
Now, it has been a while since Kings of Convenience brought back with their ‘quite is the new loud’ Simon & Garfunkel style of folk/pop, but a few variants added, the whole thing caught up, with names like Mumford & Sons, The Lumeneers or Bon Iver catching fire now and so often.
Stables could easily join those names. First of all, like some of the above-mentioned names, they don’t limit themselves to mid-tempo acoustic guitar strumming. Quite a few numbers on their second album, like the title song, for example, have quite a necessary rhythmic and instrumental movement. And when they do limit themselves (partly, at least) to just acoustic guitar backing, like on “Ticket” or introductory “Dandelions & Daisies”, there’s always a musical element added that gives the music a necessary shift, whether it is a strummed banjo, handclaps or whatever.
But what gives the Stables music that essential positive element is the duo’s vocals and harmonies that are at the same time so characteristic of the style and the same time specific and well-arranged to give their music a possibility to stand out, like on “Life Without You On repeat”, one of the standout tracks on the album. While the lyrics concern possible soured relationships, there’s always a positive note in there that would not keep you getting too close to an open window.
In essence, Reverie is familiar sounds given enough new touches to sound fresh and interesting, something you might put on when you’re sure you want to be in a good mood.