The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

A musical union forged in Americana heaven, country veteran Catherine Britt joins forces with The Wildes’ Lachlan Bryan in The Pleasures. Backed by multi-instrumentalists Damian Cafarella and Brad Bergen on bass and drums, the pair thumbs lovingly through the popular history and more cobwebbed corners of country and adjacent genres. “You Made Another Woman (Out of Me)” mirrors the rich subtext of a classic George Jones and Tammy Wynette duet, while “Paranoid” brandishes a throwback mid-1950s rock edge and “Howlin’ for My Darlin’” stomps into swampy, distorted blues. Some tracks are proper back-and-forth duets, while some see the pair sing in unison, and others feature one or the other taking the lead. No matter what the configuration, the lyrics ring out just as loudly as the vocal and instrumental work. Streaked with Luke Moller’s weepy fiddle, “Sad Song” reflects on music’s power to enshrine memories both happy and painful—complete with an impassioned joint vocal turn from Britt and Bryan. Despite the collective wealth of musical knowledge that the central duo brings to the table, The Pleasures never feel like the stuff of studied novelty. Their collaborative songwriting is knowingly dark and romantic, tapping certain potent seams that neither could have on their own.

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