Guy meets girl, girl sings on his solo albums, guy and girl record album of duets. Well that pretty much sums up Wild chorus, the first proper collaboration between Anders Parker (ex Varnaline, New Multitudes with Jay Farrar, Jim James and Will Johnson) and Kendall Meade(Mascott, backing singer occasionally for Sparklehorse and Lloyd Cole among others). Meade has featured on all of Parker’s solo efforts but when the opportunity arose to record an album as equals they grasped it and the result is a fine collection of songs that range from the pop feel of Across The Years to the muted thrash of Getting Ready. There are lashings of echoing guitar on the album giving it a spacey, almost sixties vibe which is reinforced by some of the arrangements which hark back to the Everley Brothers in places. Elsewhere Parker’s cracked voice and the keyboard arrangement on Play It summons up Eels’ warped pop sensibility while Let’s Get Lost rumbles along with a rockabilly Bo Diddley beat.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the album given the contrast between Parker’s occasionally gruff voice and Meade’s strong alto is that they’ve avoided the well-trodden Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra path. Instead the songs feature a variety of styles allowing both singers the opportunity to sing together, in counterpoint or to answer one another. Their voices do work well together on what is basically a collection of love songs although at times (Let’s Get Lost and Across The Years)it just gets a bit too busy particularly on the latter song. However when it works the couple manage to produce work that stands up well to previous standard-bearers for star-crossed male/female duets. The opening song We’re On Fire is a fine guitar soaked love song where the memory of Parsons and Harris is evoked as the vocals smoke and keyboard adds a slow Southern groove. City Of Greats lightens the mood with acoustic strumming, stratospheric keyboards and an airy feel to the singing while Sleepwalking showcases Meade on a dreamlike swoon of a song. Can You Forgive Me is a barbed wire bite of a song with a percussive snap that opens with a dramatic scene and is suffused with regret thereafter. Oh Love is the most retro fuelled song here with an almost Chet Atkins’ Nashville and they end the album with The Sun Will Shine Again Someday which recalls Neil Young’s mid seventies work and as throughout the album features an excellent arrangement and fine playing from the band.
3 thoughts on “Anders & Kendall Wild Chorus”
This is a wonderful album. Fans of Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan’s work together will find a lot to enjoy here. An early entry for the year’s top ten.
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