Stone & Snow is a duo comprised of Karen Bridges (vocal/piano/percussion) and Clint Thomson (guitars/vocals). Their latest album, Delicate and Wild, is a beautiful journey. It opens with "Cruel", which immediately demonstrates the vast layers of this talented duo. It's not just about the fact that they've written a song with a beautiful vocal melody and a tender chord progression -- it's about their ability to deliver a mix that's brimming with so many instruments. Eclectic doesn't even begin to explain it. Soft piano chords underpin Bridges' vocals -- her singing is spectacular on this song. The "Why'd you have to be so cruel?" refrain is one that will become immovably lodged in your brain. Ginger percussion and wonderful acoustic guitar licks add flavor to the track, and the same can be said of the brief but beautiful harmonica solo from Thomson at the midway point of the track. There's so much to unpack here, and this is only the first of six songs.
Bridges and Thomson prove that they've got heaps more creativity to offer on their second track "Moonrise". Thomson delivers husky vocals that complement Bridges' stunning, soaring singing. I was eagerly waiting to see how their voices would sound together, and this song doesn't disappoint. Again, I could talk about how lovely the melody sounds and that fantastic chord progression, but Stone & Snow sounds so amazing because they deliver their songs in an incredibly polished, heartfelt way. At the end of the track, when the strings come into the mix -- replacing all other instruments but the voices of Bridges and Thomson -- I found myself gobsmacked by how beautiful the track sounded. It was such a euphoric moment. It traverses so many different styles throughout its numerous segments, I could hardly believe I'd just listened to a song that was only three and a half minutes. Wow. What a piece of music.
"Who Am I" has a brilliant chorus. "Who am I to you, babe? Who am I to you?" That lyrics feels powerful because -- and I know I'm repeating myself here -- Bridges delivers it in such a powerful way. With every song on this album, it's the deliverance of the music that makes it so stand-out. You can really feel the power behind every note sung or played. I loved that Thomson took the lead for a short section later in the track -- the call and response style of the vocals between Bridges and Thomson here really blew me away. And I realize that I've spent so much time talking about the vocals (because they're beautiful) that I've not even scratched the surface of the instrumentation. Again, there's fantastic piano and guitar playing -- love the electric guitar on this one. Thomson delivers some brilliant riffs. There's a real rock energy in this track.
Stone & Snow is what happens when two ultra talented musicians combine forces. Both Bridges and Thomson have something incredible to bring to the table on every track. I'm really looking forward to whatever they put out next because Stone & Snow is the real deal. They deserve all of the success in the future.
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