The Lost Brothers: Halfway Towards a Healing – soothing sounds for easy riders

Fri, Jan 19, 2018, 05:00


Halfway Towards A Healing

The Lost Brothers

Bird Dog Records


They’re not real siblings, but if Irish duo The Lost Brothers ever did wander astray, their music suggests they ended up lost in the woodlands. Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland’s cabin in the woods-style folk music is built on whispering harmonies, deft acoustic fingerpicking and wispy melodies that comfortably fit next to the Simon and Garfunkel or Bonnie “Prince” Billy corner of your record collection.

The band’s fifth album, Halfway Towards a Healing, echoes and creaks like old floorboards. The instrumentation on tracks such as Echoes in The Wind, a highlight, feel delicate in your hand – the guitar playing rarely revving up beyond the stronger strums of Cry for a Sparrow. The Lost Brothers do, though, occasionally deploy mariachi-style horns for extra flavour. Reigns of Ruin, for example, is an instrumental that could score a lonely cowboy’s slow horse ride towards America’s southern border.

This is lovingly made music. Put in on in your car to alleviate your stress. But the album is held back by well-worn melodies, obvious rhyme patterns (rhyming “say” and “way” is just one sample) and occasionally trite lyrics (“Nothing’s gonna change me now/I’ll get through somehow”). Ultimately, it doesn’t rise much further than just sounding kind of nice on the ear.