14 Apr 2021
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Tattletale Saints - Album Review: Dancing Under The Dogwoods

20 Jan 2020 // A review by Mike Alexander
There has always been a simple charm to Tattletale Saints ever since they announced themselves with the release of their debut album How Red Is The Blood in 2013.


That album deservedly took out a Tui for best Folk Album at the New Zealand Music Awards the following year and while the duo of Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan no longer call New Zealand home – they are based in Nashville, Tennessee – their OE has certainly broadened their musical horizons and palette.

Dancing Under The Dogwoods is their third album and it luxuriates with the kind of warmth and intimacy that delights the senses. Winstanley is a natural songwriter in the best of folk traditions, sometimes wearing a narrative hat at others simply weaving heartfelt stories of love and loss, highlighted on the relaxed and introspective Honest Work.

There’s a broader spectrum displayed on the Cajun-influenced Bobby Where Did You Learn To Dance – a true story about a blind man who learns to dance in a Texas bar – and the Arlo Guthrie-styled gentle hoedown of A Man Ain’t Working, while Here At Last is an elegant, poetic ode to persistence and sensing or seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

McGowan is the yin to Winstanley’s yang. Her harmonies are subtle, silky smooth, the frosted icing on the cake. She is also peerless on the upright bass, caressing, plucking and cajoling notes as if she was lost in some imaginary tango with Winstanley.

There’s a delightful surprise – a re-envisioning of Abba’s Dancing Queen. It’s more sobering and melancholic but just as alive and invigorating as the original.

Dancing Under The Dogwoods is an album wrought in the finest of songwriting traditions. You don’t need software programs to make music when you are hard-wired in the river of songs.  Me thinks, another Tui awaits Tattletale Saints.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Tattletale Saints

Tattletale Saints are a New Zealand based duo described as a “masterful blend of Americana fused with jazz, soul and pop”.

Formally part of London based band Her Make Believe Band, Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan released their debut album AM Radio (Old Oak Music) in 2009 to critical acclaim both in NZ and in the UK, including Uncut Magazine UK who described songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Winstanley as “a potent songwriter with a voice gently reminiscent of Paul Simon” while vocalist/bassist McGowan “adds beguiling harmonies”. Graham Reid, New Zealand's foremost music journalist, described AM Radio as a "delightful album...hooks you in with melodies and keeps you there by virtue of the words...very sharp stuff".

Performing as a duo under the name Tattletale Saints, Cy and Vanessa present Cy’s songs in their rawest form, with just acoustic guitar, double bass and two voices. With voices described as “love letters between Amy Mann and a slip-sliding Paul Simon” they evoke the work of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings in their musical connection and full sound belying the duo’s size.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tattletale Saints

Releases

Dancing Under The Dogwoods
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Tattletale Saints
Year: 2016
Type: Album
How Red Is The Blood
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

Other Reviews By Mike Alexander

Serpent Dream - EP Review: Nova
11 Apr 2021 // by Mike Alexander
Serpent Dream's Nova is the debut release on Blood & Wires. The Tauranga-based boutique label was founded by Scott Brown last year with the express aim of raising the “profile of New Zealand based electronic and experimental artists.
Read More...
Mecuzine - Single Review: Blue Skies
15 Mar 2021 // by Mike Alexander
The slim-line edition of Mecuzine - brothers Joseph and Tony Johns – seems to have gained more than it might have seemingly lost. Blues Skies is the second single released since five became two and it’s another brooding, sonic masterpiece with an but almost tragically self-effacing punch line: “She wanted him to stay/Instead she got me/What an unlucky break”.
Read More...
Ant Tarrant - Single Review: Candle Lights
09 Mar 2021 // by Mike Alexander
Ant Tarrant has served his apprenticeship and it shows. Now back in New Zealand after following his muse to Central America and the US, where he was mentored in the art of song-writing and production, he’s settled in Kare Kare and opened up a music studio.
Read More...
Naircol - Single Review: Turbo Outrun
04 Feb 2021 // by Mike Alexander
In an interview with Naircol, following the release of his debut album Isolate late last year, he put collaborative ventures at the top of his wish list. It seems Santa Claus came calling in the form of Canadian producer Tokyo Rat, the result of which is the dynamic driving anthem Turbo Outrun.
Read More...
Claire Cowan - Composition Review: Hansel and Gretel
16 Dec 2020 // by Mike Alexander
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel is, ah, rather 'grim' to say the least. It’s the story of a brother and sister who get lost in the woods and are befriended by a cannibalistic witch who lives in a house made out of sweet things, most notably gingerbread.
Read More...
Mahoney Harris - Single Review: The Shifting of the Light
19 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
There's an evocative image conjured up early on in The Shifting of the Light that beautifully illustrates the underlying theme of letting go. In referring to "paradise ducks made for life returning to their bowers time after time" singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris might well be talking about 'soul-mates' or a similarly intimate relationship that felt as if it was meant to last but didn't.
Read More...
Eden Iris - Single Review: I Just Can't Turn It Off
12 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Having exorcised a few ghosts, so to speak, on her soul stirring 2018 EP Demons, Eden Iris is finally set to release her debut album next year. It’s been an age since the now LA-based, singer-songwriter first came to national attention through Mike Chunn’s Play It Strange competition.
Read More...
Lou'ana - Album Review: Moonlight Madness
29 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
The official release date for Lou'ana's debut album is October 30. Whether by design or accident, it’s serendipitous.
Read More...
View All Articles By Mike Alexander

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • PEACHES
    Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
  • MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME)
    Lil Nas X
  • HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY
    Giveon
  • LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN
    Silk Sonic
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
  • ASTRONAUT IN THE OCEAN
    Masked Wolf
  • ALL SHE WROTE
    Six60
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • DRIVERS LICENSE
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • DEJA VU
    Olivia Rodrigo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem