Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer – Seed of a Pine
Seed Of A Pine is an all-around solid slice of modern Americana. Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer are well-balanced and their lyrics have a thoughtful narrative that doesn’t cease being fascinating.
The record sounds like it would be played non-stop at Starbucks because the lyrics have a refined neutrality and the music is consistent. Tracks like “Grow” and “Golden Glow” are some of the strongest on the record because of how forward their vocals are, which is really the keystone to their sound. Fer has a rich voice, hinting towards a slight twang and, mixed with McGraw’s breathy performance, their harmonies are easily digestible. Honestly, nothing on this album sounds out of place or contrived, which makes it easy to enjoy.
While the musicianship and recording quality are impressive, the duo doesn’t do much to expand on pre-existing sounds in alternative country. They tend to remain within the realm of acoustic guitar, accompanied by violin or fiddle, and their vocal arrangements are typical of the genre but they do it justice. By the end of the record, it seems like their songs start to melt together. Perhaps this is because each song is roughly the same length and follows a similar formula but, unless you are a fan of this genre, it starts to wane interest. This should not deter people from checking out the record, just something to be aware of because, though the record holds a high standard, it may lose some listeners.