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Take a Walk at Night, and Listen to The Division Men





Take a Walk at Night, and Listen to The Division Men

It’s pretty damn easy to do singer-songwriter acoustic stuff badly. When you cut out almost all of the instruments and voices from a potential song, the restricted format you’re left with can lead to all sorts of issues. Not the least of these oft-seen issues with the format are making songs that are too simple, songs that are too confessional without being interesting or songs that feature that annoyingly common tendency for people to “weird up” their voice to stand out.

The Division Men don’t trigger any of these warning bells. In fact, this acoustic pair writes deadly lullabies with just (for the most part) two guitars and their voices, and what comes out is dark music for dark nights. And it’s just good. Their compositions are brooding and manage complexity despite the pared-down format, and the vocal contrast of husband J. Spencer Portillo’s deep baritone with wife Caroline Rippy Portillo’s floating, hyper-airy vocals fits perfectly within the methodical, plodding structures of their instrumentation. It’s lovely night music for night moods, and if I could, I’d suggest walking your neighborhood in the small dark hours while you let it play around in your head. It makes for an evening that’s somber in just the right way, which is not a bad way to describe this duo in general. Get listening.

Published: January 24, 2015 |

This Emerging Artist is based in Austin,
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