Album Reviews

My Darling Clementine – Country Darkness – EP Review

My Darling Clementine are a UK based Country/Americana duo who consist of Michael Weston King & Lou Dalgleish. The critically acclaimed duo have released three albums, played over 700 shows across Europe and N. America, received numerous awards and they are currently one of the most exciting artists dominating the Americana scene at the moment.

Most recently the duo released their EP Country Darkness. The 4-track set is comprised of the bands re-interpretation of the country and country-soul songs of Elvis Costello, in collaboration with the great Steve Nieve.

The recordings also feature Colin Elliott, Shez Sheridan and Dean Beresford (from the Richard Hawley band) with whom they made their 2nd album ‘The Reconciliation’

Country Darkness Vol.1’ was produced by Colin Elliot (Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Duane Eddy) and MWK, and will is available on 12” inch vinyl including a free download code. It comes with stunning artwork by Jared Swafford, who has designed all previous MDC sleeves.

Kicking off with a hauntingly beautiful piano ballad, the song Heart Shaped Bruise is breathtaking and stunning. Lou’s vocals are captivating and the vocal harmonies from both Lou and Michael are alluring and elegant and blend perfectly. My Darling Clementine are like a less dark Handsome Family in this song and equally loveable.

Stranger In The House really brings a strong traditional country sound to the mix with a Rock and Roll edge. Lou proves her wide vocal range during this song and shows how she can sing ballads, uptempo, you name it, she can do it. The old fashioned stylings of Michaels vocals are infectious and seeing the pair live, I can only imagine is one hell of an experience. This track is the second single from this EP and is an interpretation of the Costello and George Jones classic. This is said to have been written with George Jones is mind and is one of the first country songs Costello ever wrote.

That Day Is Done is the kind of song that reminds us why we fell in love with country music in the first place. The old school sounds, the instrumentation, the story-telling, emotive vocals and the authenticity and My Darling Clementine have it all.

I Felt The Chill Before The Winter Came is a nice way to finish off what is way too short of an EP. Whilst the EP is somewhat perfect in its quantity we of course want more but that’s a good thing and they do have a nice back catalogue so we will be delving into that. This track has a wonderful rhythm to it and the song is wonderfully calming with a great wintery feel which is perfect in December of course. Costello wrote this with Loretta Lynn so is even more of a reason to love it!

I don’t really know much about Elvis Costello apart from his biggest hits but am certainly going to look up these tracks, however, I am sure I will find them to not be as good as these versions, perhaps in part because I am always won over by a female voice.

Overall this is a wonderful EP and something every true country/americana should get their hands on. The production has been done perfectly with strong instrumentation and on-point vocals.

 

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