After crossing paths in a lockdown-era songwriting circle, Felicity Urquhart and The Waifs’ Josh Cunningham fell in love and documented their newfound union on 2021’s The Song Club. They rejoin forces on this set of rustic duets that mingle folk, country, and blues while relishing music in all its forms. “I’ve always been a sucker for a birdsong,” Cunningham sings on the opening title track, before describing the toll of personal tragedy. There are plenty more dark moments here, with the old-timey waltz “Softer Side” tackling the universal challenge of maintaining one’s mental health. “Life is a chronic condition/The prognosis is terminal/But in the unending world of attrition/It’s better to be merciful,” advises Urquhart, signaling hope in the face of emotional turmoil. Such interweaving of bright and dire themes runs throughout the record, with the closing “We’ll Never Get Out of Love Alive” playing out like a gothic romance. Backed by co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Fell, the pair combine their seasoned voices in playful and novel ways across Birdsong, seeding the ground for a fruitful future together.

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