I was first introduced to The Civil Wars a few years ago through Grey’s Anatomy, bless their always-incredible soundtrack, and it wasn’t until their first full-length album, Barton Hollow, that I even realized it was the same duo I had fallen in love with previously.
Their new (albeit two month-old) album is one I don’t have adequate words to discuss. Joy Williams’ voice is not of this world, and I’d say the duo’s current schism (clandestine tryst gone awry, most likely) is what makes the flame in this album burn. I read once that Williams and her counterpart John Paul White know each other so well that they can actually improvise harmonies on stage. I had to actively force myself not to listen to their second self-titled album in the car at first because I kept wanting to close my eyes to soak it all in and we all know that’s not particularly conducive to road safety.
I searched everywhere for an online streaming of the album, but alas the time has expired on the preview, so the best I can do is direct you to the iTunes link. The minute or so clip per song is plenty of time to make you want to never listen to anything else again. Follow along with this article to read Williams’ thoughts on each song. Although my advice is to wait to read that until you’ve formed your own opinions.
And dear God, whatever you do, do not skip “Dust to Dust.”
Here, for your convenience: