Swimming Upstream

August York

Independent release , 2013


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


August York is a folk-pop duo from Nashville comprised of Mckendree and Rachel Tucker. The pair has been playing together since 2011, then quickly released an album and EP of their catchy folk version of indie rock, complete with soaring harmonies and timeless melodies.

Leading off their sophomore album is "Come To Paris." Its fantasy-like opening moves into a rousing duet that makes you wonder if the trip to Paris has a layover in the Appalachians. "Alright Already" follows and is centered on Mckendree’s vocals; it comes off like a more rugged version of an old Matt Pond PA song, which is a high compliment in my book. "Young" allows Tucker's sweet and soulful voice to shine as keys help reinforce a song that would be ideal on any soft-rock station. Equally tuneful is "Let's Go," a simply gorgeous song with an aching background that sounds light and airy.

The second half of the disc doesn't stray too much from the first half. Tracks like "Swimming Upstream" are effective an duet with acoustic guitars, while similarly calm selections like "Bayonet" and its keys are more oriented toward Mckendree. While the lyrical content can get heavy on occasion, the upbeat, snappy offering and disc highlight "Grow (Come On)" helps add a playful charm and could easily turn anyone onto the band. Near the end is the ever so soothing "Loving You," where the duo is essentially singing a love song to each other. It's sappy and honest, and so sweet it just might give you a cavity.

I won't try to convince you that August York is in anyway breaking the mold here. In fact, in the time it took you to read this review, there are probably 20 new indie-folk bands that spawned who won't be drastically different from anything on Swimming Upstream. What August York has that separates them from the herd are the fact that both can sing extremely well and pen songs that are genuine, memorable and resonate with a life-affirming spirit.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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