Peach & Quiet
Just Beyond The Shine
Peach and Quiet Music
Canadian Cool and American West Coast Charm Collide in Glorious Harmony.
Sadly in these modern times the artwork on an album may not ‘mean’ as much as I think it should; in this particular case someone has decided to take the duo’s name Peach and Quiet (which I’m also not keen on!) and tried to turn it into a literal format; but ended up with something pseudo-sexual that wouldn’t have been out of place on a 1980’s Soul Compilation.
Mercifully, the music of duo Heather Read and Jonny Miller; from Canada’s West Coast bares no resemblance to that much maligned genre at all.
With the legendary Steve Dawson at the helm and occasionally adding guitar; Jonny and Heather make some rather divine harmonious Canadian Folk Music, with a nod towards the American West Coast.
I’d put off playing the album, simply because of the artwork; but thankfully (yet again) my IPhone has no such qualms and opening song Empty To Fill serenaded me one crisp and frosty morning, a couple of dawns ago.
With Miller on lead, his rich voice aligned to a rather tight backing band that errs on the side of Folk Rock took me away to much warmer and far more interesting climes.
The second song; For My Love features the couple in sympatico harmony …… wow! There are plenty of lazy comparisons I could make; but won’t as together Miller and Read sound like more or less no one else other than themselves; it’s beautifully crafted and quite distinctive; and that guitar picking will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.
The first few times I’ve played the album I struggle to get past wallowing in the couples voices; both individually and together; plus the arrangements flit seamlessly between West Coast USA and Canada with simple ease.
But, today I’ve put the headphones on and listened a bit more intently to the songs and the stories therein; and they actually match the quality of singing; which isn’t always the case …… trust me.
Lucky In Love is pretty much what you’d expect; but the rasp in Jonny Miller’s voice gives the words an extra edge that many won’t achieve; and on the flip side the swoonsome, There’s a Very Good Chance has a fabulous melody which will mean most listeners will miss the actual message of a strong bond and love that the couple are singing about.
When you see a song title like Seven Daffodils, it’s quite likely you will presume it’s going to be some Hippie-Drippy nonsense, but this love song about longing is far more than that; and again is given a certain ‘darkness’ by Miller’s tones and some electric guitar from the dirty end of the fretboard.
There’s even a song that will make lovers of a certain vintage go Oooohhhh …….. Will You is a Love song from one to the other as they/we grow old together, worrying that the ‘spark’ is still there; when we know fine well it is; and always will be.
The whole album has been both a delight and a basket of surprises from start to finish; which brings me to one song in particular; Shoreline After The Storm which finds Heather taking lead vocals; and it totally blew me away the first time I heard it and just about everytime I’ve played it since.
While I know it’s Canadian; I can hear that Canadian ‘cool’ in there; but first and foremost this song is Celtic in origin with a fair smattering of Gothic charm in there too ……. making this by far and away my Favourite Track.
With a deep breath I can probably forgive Jonny and Heather for the twee name they’ve selected for their duo; but that CD cover is genuinely going to put off the actual people who will buy and cherish these songs ….. hopefully it’s not too late for a change; they and their songs deserve better.
Released January 15th 2020
BUY DON’T SPOTIFY