Loud release: The Civil Wars

Loud release: The Civil Wars
The Civil Wars, an Americian folk-roots duo consisting of (from left) John Paul White and Joy Williams.

The Civil Wars

It will really be bad if this is the last album from US duo The Civil Wars.

After the success of the beautifully melancholy 2011 debut Barton Hollow, the pair - Joy Williams and John Paul White - toured until they got sick of each other, announcing a hiatus late last year. While their personal (though not romantic) relationship may be broken, their music isn't.

On this second album, the pair get more interesting, perhaps because of all the internal strife.

They mix up their trademark gentle duets on songs like D'Arline and an amazing cover of The Smashing Pumpkins' Disarm with songs that have more outward angst, like The One That Got Away, I Had Me A Girl and Devil's Backbone.

It's more of a mixed bag than Barton Hollow, and the shift in moods can be jarring, but the pair prove they've still got more good stuff up their sleeves.

Formats: CD, digital

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