The Duplets are Gillian Fleetwood and Fraya Thomsen, both of whom hail from the Highlands of Scotland. They both sing and play harp and on their latest offering titled ‘Leverage‘ they were given the opportunity of playing two Briggs harps (Henry Briggs was a famous English harp maker based in Glasgow).
The album features instrumental and vocal tracks which alternate throughout to offer contrast as well as displaying Gillian and Fraya’s vocal and instrumental virtuosoity. They have a natural ability of blending and building a tune and despite being traditionally influenced there are other influences at play giving rise to some clever arrangements which have a slight contemporary feel.
It’s an album you can easily lose yourself within and it is a pleasant reminder of how music can convey the spirit of an occasion such as ‘The Banks of Ness‘ whose bouncy rythmn was inspired by the Greig Street Bridge in Inverness or the uplifting ‘Garry’s Porch‘ inspired by a visit to the Folk Alliance International in Memphis. The album opens to the well covered Burn’s poem (written a year before his death) A Man’s A Man For A’ That, still as poignant today as it was then, a sentiment shared by Gillian and Fraya.
Despite hailing from the highlands the songs are all sung in English so the non-Gaelic speakers amongst you can appreciate the tie between word and music on the likes of the broadside ballad Jenny Nettles (also known as Robin Rattle’s Bastard). There is a cetain timelessness about this album which has a classic feel but also a subtle contemporary glow which will surely bring it a wider appeal outside tradtional circles.
Leverage is released on Pond Chicken Music.