A haunting female vocal, and a beautiful picked guitar: it’s a tried and tested formula, and one which Hickory Signals certainly exploit well on this eponymous EP, their debut studio release. The Brighton-based duo is made up of vocalist Laura Ward and guitarist Adam Ronchetti. Ward’s voice has a clarity which grabs your attention, particularly in the upper register, and it is this which gives interest to this recording.
It is not revolutionary, but Hickory Signals have been very successful at creating a sombre mood. Ward’s voice matches nicely with Ronchetti’s guitar, and some tastefully added strings. The best track is the deceptively simple Wagon, which shows off Ward’s stunning range with some tricky leaps. The pace throughout the EP is slow, and this accentuates the downcast feel. On a full length album, this uniformity of mood would perhaps be a little wearing, but it fits nicely in this format. On the strength of this, Hickory Signals are certainly a duo to watch for the future.Will Wilkins
Released 24th March 2014
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