Work Harder & One Day You’ll Find Her is the first album from Duotone, also known as Barney Morse-Brown.
The Imagined Village cellist brings a summery feel to his debut, coupling cello with guitar and vocals. At times there is a hint of Jose Gozalez or Damien Rice in the intelligent acoustic stylings, and Barney’s voice floats pleasingly over the music.
The album opens with House in Keremma, a soaring cello giving way to gentle guitar, and enchanting imagery, although it did help me to find out where Keremma was to complete the picture.
Golden Hair Saved My Life has a nursery rhyme sort of quality with its repetition, and is incredibly catchy with its counting refrain. It is a great song to sing along to, although doing so one realises it’s not quite as simple as it might first appear.
The middle tracks of the album seem to lose focus a little, I found my mind wandering more easily whilst listening to them. Finally Unwoven does have a good tune, but as an instrumental track it is a tad meditative to hold interest.
However, Work Harder has both a great sentiment in its lyrics, a catchy tune and some splendid pedal steel from BJ Cole. Overall it is the best moment of the album.
You Don’t Need Church closes the album, with a glorious harmony chorus, and another set of intelligent and playful lyrics.
The poetic words are for me the real strength of this album. Barney’s inventive phrases raise it up in the acoustic genre that already has established acts with a similar sound.
At eight tracks long Work Harder & One Day You’ll Find Her is a short album, but a gem nonetheless. Put it on and relax in the sunshine.Liz Osman
Released digitally on 30 November 2009
1. House In Keremma
2. Golden Hair Saved My Life
3. Pray for Me
4. In the Evening
5. Work Harder
6. Finally Unwoven
7. Greetings Hello
8. You Don’t Need Church