Canadian Cousins Exploring Strange Countries: A Conversation with Kacy & Clayton

Originally published with The Bluegrass Situation on June 15, 2016.

Cousins Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum may hail from Canada — specifically the isolated Wood Mountain Uplands in Saskatchewan — but their music is by no means limited to that geographical region. Fans of older sounds than what they heard playing on the radio growing up, they sought out British folk and American roots music that broadened their horizons and went on to influence their own take on these classic traditions.

Their new album, Strange Country, contains darker subject matter that belies the pair’s young age: Kacy at 19 and Clayton at 21 write music far beyond their years. With Clayton’s clear, articulate guitar guiding the songs along and Kacy’s woeful, emotionally laden vocals — sliding from soprano to a weighted alto and back again — the pair have penned an album that feels woozy at times for the heights it soars and the depths it reaches, all dealing with tragedies in one way or another. Strange Country feels solemn and especially grave, both figuratively and literally. The album’s last song, “Dyin’ Bed Maker,” is a murder ballad Kacy wrote from the point of view of a female. The sheer desire that arises from the song’s melody and lyricism feels overwhelming: “I know he loved me best. I know he loved me best,” Kacy sings, her voice edging on provocation against Clayton’s mournful guitar.

[Full article available at The Bluegrass Situation.]

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