Recording as Goldmund Keith Kenniff has made some wonderful music.
'The Malady Of Elegance' (2008), 'Famous Places' (2010) and the
sublimely simple collection of American Civil War songs 'All Will
Prosper' (2011) are all worthy of our undivided attention. As Mint
Julep, however, we now find him mining very different territory in
this collaboration with his wife Hollie. The stripped-down, achingly
melancholic instrumental arrangements are set aside for a while to
reveal a side of Mr Kenniff which would appear to have been hiding
quietly in the shadows for the right moment to show this very different
incarnation. The spirit of the sixties and Phil Spector in particular seem
to have had more than a little influence in the conception of these
ten fine songs. The rich harmonic structures, echoing percussion and
vocal treatments, whilst knowingly anachronistic, are full of strong
melodies and restrained energy. Who'd have known that Mr Kenniff had
it in him! He's clearly been keeping his inner-pop star under wraps!
For her part Mrs K has a lovely voice. It's a gentle, mellow and dreamy
instrument which, despite its lack of dynamic and tonal variation, plays
a substantial and significant part in defining the duo's distinctive sound.
Tracks worthy of close inspection include : 'Aviary', which sports a truly
delightful tune unfolding against a dense four-square backbeat; 'Days Gone
By', a powerfully driving invention which lends itself to dancefloor excess';
'Cherry Radio' which might well have had The Mamas and The Papas smiling in
the wings and the gorgeous 'Stay', a slow-burning romantic anthem which for
my money is alone worth the price of the album. It all works wonderfully well.