Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

How Red Is the Blood

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

How Red Is the Blood

Article excerpt

Tattletale Saints

Old Oak

Kiwi duo wraps dark matters in beautiful organic folk songs

Tattletale Saints' mournful acoustic guitars, upright bass, and smart rhymes netted the duo New Zealand's award for best folk album of 2014, and it's easy to see why. Singer Cy Winstanley's clear, confident tenor and front porch-like strumming meshes beautifully and organically with Vanessa McGowan's elastic bass, making the 12 tracks on How Red Is the Blood eddy like autumn leaves on the surface of a gently flowing stream. Yet churning beneath the ebullient and wistful melodies are currents of righteous anger.

The smooth, Brill Building-like pop of "Kathleen" is a rollicking tale of feckless love until the scorpion's sting of psychosis appears at the end. Likewise, beneath the sparkling gypsy-jazz gloss of "Doctor Doctor" are jabs at the pharmaceutical industry's sapping of a generation's vitality. And the soulless protagonist in the cantering acoustic story-song "Complicated Man" rapes the environment before slipping "sweetly to sleep. …

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