Review of Sold My Soul EP by Cattle & Cane

Another gem from Teeside, Cattle & Cane are a quartet that fuse together a wealth of folk, indie and blues influences and, on this their debut EP, showcase a mature and refined, fantastic sound that combines powerful choruses alongside contrasting gentle tenderness of the likes of Shady Bard and Fleet Foxes.

The EP's title track opens with an intricately picked guitar introduction sounding a bluesy folk vibe right from the off beneath Joe Hammill's smooth vocals. As the track pushes into a bigger chorus with a stronger, pop feel, his sister Helen joins him singing; two lush and smooth vocal tones that perfectly complement each other, then here's much of a fuller band feel to 'Sold My Soul's' second verse with dual vocals from Joe and Helen Hammill and violin and Paul Wilson's bass both doubling the melody that's picked out on the guitar throughout. After launching into a second chorus with a much fuller sound to how the song peacefully started out, the track then breaks down before building back with layers of stabbing strings, pounding drums and chugging guitars sounding a big, catchy and feel good sound which then dies away again to the solitary, peaceful, picked, Nickel Creek-like bluesy guitar.

Cattle & Cane Sold My Soul EP

'Belle' opens similarly empty and gentle with a picked guitar line accompanying solo male vocals, but the track gradually proceeds to build with pounding bass, thumping drums and rhythmic string parts. Cattle & Cane's sound oozes beauty with lush string parts, dual vocals that are wonderfully complimentary to each other and powerful repeated choruses that bring to mind the epic kind of festival chorus mastered by the likes of Embrace and Snow Patrol; this particular example, 'Belle', then concludes with the dual vocals in perfect harmony over a gentler accompaniment. 'Falling Over You' contrasts slightly with a fuller sound from the very start and soulful vocals over distinctive melodic bass parts and gentle suggestions of piano that are mixed into the easy going guitar blend. The track later breaks into a violin solo which further emphasises the influence of blues-folk; Cattle & Cane are like a more chilled out Kill It Kid. With its picked electric guitar part accompanying perfectly pitched multi part vocal harmonies, concluding track, 'We Stand', sounds a more atmospheric and echoey blend in its' down-tempo soothing balladry. A solid start leaving one eager for more!

Hannah Spencer

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