12 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Under the banner of The Milk Carton Kids, Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan make the most of the maxim “less is more.” The Milk Carton Kids perform and record with just two voices and two acoustic guitars; nothing on The Ash & Clay couldn’t be reproduced identically onstage. Even making the leap from releasing their own albums to recording for a high-profile, major-distribution label like Anti Records couldn’t sway the Kids from their minimalist path. Thank God for that, because there’s something special that happens when Pattengale and Ryan’s gentle voices curl around each other in homespun harmony and their guitar lines intertwine as if emerging from one instrument played by four hands. While “Honey, Honey” revolves around some fast-paced folkie fingerpicking and “Heaven” is fueled by peppy, country-flavored guitar licks, Pattengale and Ryan are confident enough in their approach to avoid the temptation to “rock out,” even in relative terms. The Ash & Clay offers a bounty of unabashedly beautiful, contemplative tunes delivered with little ado but an abundance of grace.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Under the banner of The Milk Carton Kids, Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan make the most of the maxim “less is more.” The Milk Carton Kids perform and record with just two voices and two acoustic guitars; nothing on The Ash & Clay couldn’t be reproduced identically onstage. Even making the leap from releasing their own albums to recording for a high-profile, major-distribution label like Anti Records couldn’t sway the Kids from their minimalist path. Thank God for that, because there’s something special that happens when Pattengale and Ryan’s gentle voices curl around each other in homespun harmony and their guitar lines intertwine as if emerging from one instrument played by four hands. While “Honey, Honey” revolves around some fast-paced folkie fingerpicking and “Heaven” is fueled by peppy, country-flavored guitar licks, Pattengale and Ryan are confident enough in their approach to avoid the temptation to “rock out,” even in relative terms. The Ash & Clay offers a bounty of unabashedly beautiful, contemplative tunes delivered with little ado but an abundance of grace.

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