Storyhill: Storyhill

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ImageSelf-titled albums tend to be debuts, but this is in fact the 12th release from Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson, the acoustic folk duo known as Storyhill. In their case, the eponymous title signals a fresh start, a return to basics and, probably, a hope that this will be the release that introduces them to a wider audience. It just might. Granted, the CD includes the occasional sappy moment where they seem less reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel than of Seals & Crofts or England Dan & John Ford Coley (both duos whose material they’ve previously covered). But mostly, they steer clear of platitudes, showcasing lyrics that conjure up real people and music that sounds as original as it is lilting. On tracks such as “For a Song” and “Sacramento,” moreover, their gorgeous harmonies really do evoke Paul and Art. Kudos to producer Dan Wilson (Semisonic), who made the most of the first-rate backup while also keeping the duo’s vocals front and center, where they belong.

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