MusicRecord Reviews

Hope for Agoldensummer

For the past decade, Hope for Agoldensummer has operated as one of the clear voices cutting through the amplified noise of our music scene. It’s not often that a folk band commands as much attention as the guitar boys, but that’s due to the crystalline vocals of lead sister singers Claire and Page Campbell. Their band started out as a five-piece junkyard chorus replete with drums and cello, noisy enough in its own way at times, but lineup shifts have pared things down over the years to a trio, or sometimes just a duo, and on Life Inside the Body the focus is direct: two voices, complementing one another, harmonizing, at times in synch and at other swirling around one another. Otters playing.

Most of Life Inside the Body, the band’s third full-length, documents songs the Campbell sisters have been playing live for years—tracks like “Come Back,” “Daniel Bloom” and “Tucson.” Heartache, lust, emotion and longing characterize the substance of most of ’em, and the stripped-down take puts both the lyrics themselves and their vocal delivery system front and center. Life Inside the Body plays to the band’s strengths by eliminating much of what has enhanced and complemented the vocals in the past—whether that’s by design or by circumstance doesn’t matter too much, and while a handful of the songs could handle the weight of more dynamic arrangements or exciting accoutrements, maybe a little like most of us, they don’t need anything else.

Hope for Agoldensummer is playing at WHOLE: Mind. Body. Art. on Saturday, May 5.