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Steve Robinson and Ed Woltil - Shadow Play (Steve Robinson and Ed Woltil)

21 February 2023

Hendersonville, NC-based Robinson is a British ex-pat who played in The Byrds co-founder and frontman Roger McGuinn’s touring band, and Woltil is a Tampa Bay, FL resident who fronts power-poppers The Ditchflowers; though each has released their own solo LPs, this is their second combined effort sharing soundalike lead vocals, following 2015’s Cycle. While their jangly folk-pop recalls The Byrds on “Lifeboat,” you’ll detect more Kinks, Left Banke and Cyrkle baroque/Brit-pop, as on “The Way You Love Him” and “On Your Side.” And with Dave Gregory adding guitars to “Life on a Trampoline” and “Ultramarine,” hints of his former band XTC and Martin Newell art-pop also abound. Elsewhere, the brisk “Chasing Angels” evokes The Bats and Able Tasmans, and slower ballads “One Day Never” and “Shadow Wall” summon Roddy Frame and Don McGlashan. Despite dour lyrics often musing on mid-life unease, their music (aside from the darker, biting “Vulgar Tongue”) always feels breezy and optimistic. (

“Chasing Angels”

“On Your Side”