Sixpence None The Richer - The Fatherless & The Widow (orange Lp
  • Sixpence None The Richer - The Fatherless & The Widow (orange Lp

Sixpence None The Richer - The Fatherless & The Widow (orange Lp

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Five years before Sixpence became a household name on the wings of the stellar international hit that was "Kiss Me," a truly delightful romantic piece of folk/pop brilliance that landed at exactly the right time in the cultural zeitgeist, guitarist and songwriter Matt Slocum and the still teenage vocalist Leigh Nash were learning how to combine their talents and create alternative music that mattered in New Braunfels, Texas. Perhaps inspired by the Christian rock breakthrough in California a decade earlier, when bands like The Choir, Altar Boys and Undercover had stretched the sonic and lyrical boundaries of what was possible and now fellow 90s bands like The Prayer Chain and Poor Old Lu were getting ready for their turn at bat.Slocum's interest in rich textured guitar sounds is evident from the very beginning of their 1993 debut, The Fatherless & The Widow, an image drawn from the concern of the Hebrew prophets for their community's most vulnerable members, widows and orphans, which Jesus later describes as "the least of these," in his parable in Matthew 25. Crisp chords ring out like chimes as a tapestry of textures cascade down a waterfall of sound, an orchestral chorus relying on layers of six stringed instruments and the odd cello, which combine to mark the territory Slocum is discovering for himself, an echo of influences like Derri Daugherty (The Choir), Johnny Marrs (The Smiths), Peter Buck (R.E.M.).No less pronounced and crucial to the 6p sound is the bright, pure and natural voice of Nash, who can effect a childish whisper, or cut through the whirling dervish of sound to create a melodic center that holds and will not be lost in the fury that surrounds her. Whether interpreting an ancient psalm in a lush orchestrated piece, as she does in "Trust (Reprise)" which closes the album, or the album's more challenging emotions of the title track and the opening song, "Field of Flowers," she finds just the right emotional resonance to bring home the pictures that Slocum's music evokes.Surely, no...

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