THE LYNNeS – Heartbreak Song For The Radio (The LYNNEs Records TLR 2018-01)

Heartbreak SongAlthough they’ve shared a stage several times and written songs together over the past ten years, fellow Canadians Lynne Miles and Lynne Hanson haven’t actually recorded together. That oversight’s rectified with this debut album, Heartbreak Song For The Radio, one that plays to their shared strengths in, as the title suggests, heartbreak Americana.

The core tracks and most of the vocal and acoustic parts recorded live off the floor direct to tape, the ten co-writes kick off with the steady drum beat-driven ‘Cold Front’, a song about emotional distance (“leaving is easy it’s the staying that’s hard”) that features a searing electric guitar solo from Kevin Breit who features throughout. A more familiar country approach arrives with the close harmony ‘Cost So Much’, a number about bruised heart regret that features the memorable refrain “wouldn’t have gone and paid my dues if I knew was gonna cost so much”.

There’s a definite touch of The Carpenters to the dreamy pop smoothed title track with Miles taking lead before the infectious ‘Recipe For Disaster’ with its lyrically matching opposites (“you got the sugar and I got the salt”) brings it back to twangy country with the mid-tempo ‘Don’t Look Down’ featuring Breit on guitar and mandolin and rumbling drums and effective hollow crackling percussion work by Peter Von Althan taking the pace down again.

Brushed drums take ‘Dark Waltz’ around the dancefloor to the sad songs of love lost (“no wedding dress, no fancy shoes”), but then there’s a decided switch of mood and tempo with the swampy rocking groove of ‘Halfway To Happy’ (“I’m a moss without a stone”) that sounds like something from the vintage days of the Everly Brothers’ rockabilly canon. Keeping the comparisons coming, ‘Blue Tattoo’ can’t help but prompt references to Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac, though there’s some Chris Isaak in there too.

It ends with the two fists of the uncluttered acoustic folksiness of ‘Blame It On The Devil’, the pair trading verses on a song that reminds that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and “it’s only walking through the fire that you learn just who you are”, and Keith Glass’s baritone guitar prominent, the dark swirls of the closing ‘Heavy Lifting’ as Hanson sings “I’m tired of falling for cowboys in the dark”.

Individually, both Lynnes are formidable forces in contemporary country, together they just might be unstoppable.

Mike Davies

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‘Recipe For Disaster’ – official video: