Lewis & Leigh - 'Missing Years'

Regular readers may remember this feature of Americana duo Lewis & Leigh's debut EP. The duo, Al Lewis and Alva Leigh are poised to release their sophomore EP Missing Years on 27th April. The EP includes four tracks, Devil's In The Detail, Late Show, Rubble and Spies and listeners who have heard their previous EP will immediately notice a considerably 'darker' bluesier feel to this release.

Devil's In The Detail opens the EP and features a haunting lead vocal from Mississippi native Alva Leigh. The production all blends together well, creating the strongest 'dark' feel of all the tracks on the release. The only negative to the track is that personally it felt like there wasn't much depth to the lyrics, with "the devil's in the detail" seemingly being repeated a lot.

The Al Lewis opened Late Show continues the EP. The various mix of instruments you wouldn't necessarily hear (such as trumpets and oboes) works really in the track and Al and Alva seem really comfortable within the style and play off each other well. I really like the track, it builds throughout and you can really picture it performed in a jazz bar, a definite departure for the duo!

Rubble follows, another one of my favourites. The track is clearly very personal to the duo, intertwining the stories of the south Wales valleys and post-Katrina Mississippi. Vocally this is, in my opinion, the high point of the EP with both Alva and Al delivering heartfelt, emotive performances. The production is at it's softest - led by a soft drum and acoustic guitar riff - and the track progresses at a steady, yet not overpowering, pace meaning that the listener will automatically find themselves drawn into the lyrics rather than any excessive production.

The EP closes with Spies. This is probably my least favourite track from the EP, it doesn't feel as strong as the others. It also feels uncomfortably slow, often feeling as though the track needed an injection of space and verging on being a little boring. It is clear however, in this song and throughout the EP, that Al and Alva are very talented vocalists and song writers and should be pleased with their release.

I have to commend Al and Alva for showing a different side to their vocals and continuing to release music of such a high standard. Considering the difference between Missing Years and their debut EP Night Drives it will be interesting what listeners will hear from the duo when it comes time to release a full length album. Both EPs carry a similar, unashamedly Americana sound that proves the duo know where they are each most comfortable and their vocal performances are extremely strong throughout. Missing Years is definitely worth a listen!