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Oakes and Smith are a folk duo from Massachusetts comprised of Katherine and Robert Oakes. Their brand new EP, Between the Earth and Sky, is a follow up to their debut album, 2013’s First Flight. The five songs show off a warmer, more expansive production paired with their immediately recognizable patented harmonies, featuring extra vocal support from Jemal Wade Hines and Moksha Sommer. The new songs feel more grandly melodramatic than ever before, and although it is still folk at its core, the EP has a new baroque feeling overall, giving the songs lusher textures and fully embodied emotions.
Jon Anderson of Yes makes a guest appearance on the final song, the beautifully pastoral “Closer To Home.” It’s as if his presence alone gives the EP a subtly progressive attitude, from the flutes and mellotrons of the aforementioned, to the operatic dramatics of “Presence.” The highlight of this record is the gentle, poppy “Never Let The Light Die,” a song sandwiched right in the middle that breaks up the pace of slower, pensive ballads. Ostensibly, the duo’s chemistry is well and clearly still in place, arguably more than ever before, because Between the Earth and Sky is one of their best releases yet.
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