Nick Duffy (The Lilac Time, Bait) and Angeline Morrison (The Mighty Sceptres, The Ambassadors of Sorrow) are We Are Muffy. It's an odd name for a band, admittedly, but the music is easier to appreciate. Sardonic, laconic, and lovely, the faux-folk of the duo on The Charcoal Pool, out today via Tapete Records, is decidedly memorable.
On numbers like "Precious Things", "Milk Bar", or the title cut, We Are Muffy engage in a modern spin on the sort of things Sandy Denny and the Incredible String Band did years ago. Elsewhere, on the buoyant "Frosted Candy", things get a bit more jaunty but, really, the strengths of this band lie in the sort of music that very nearly creeps up on you as a listener. The too-clever-by-half-title of "Jacobean Reggae" hangs upon a song that's a bit like that Althea and Donna cover that Black Box Recorder barely got away with 20 years ago. Still, Angeline Morrison's voice is good, and the effect is an intoxicating one, admittedly.
Lots of what's here is haunting in an easy way, and that's to be commended. I can see how this sort of material could easily have become something too precious but, admirably, We Are Muffy hold back a bit, enough to allow material like "Strange Admixture" and "Coloured Pencils" to shine as truly beautiful compositions. And so much on this release is similarly lovely.
The Charcoal Pool by We Are Muffy is out today via Tapete Records.
[Photo: Barry Cooper]