We have a video première today from alt-country husband and wife duo Martin and Kerraleigh Child, AKA The August List. ‘Cut Yr Teeth’ features on their new double A side single along with ‘Red Light On The Tower’.
Hailing from Dorset and now residing in Oxfordshire the new TAL single and forthcoming debut album ‘O Hinterland’ follows their two critically acclaimed EPs and an avid live following in their new hometown and beyond. O Hinterland is released via Reading based label/collective Ubiquity Project Records on 29th September 2014 following the single release on 11th August 2014.
Having been a couple since 2005 it was another five years into their relationship before TAL started writing and performing music together. Taking their cue from neotraditionalists such as The White Stripes and Holly Golightly Martin and Kerraleigh built around the bare bones of their songs with just acoustic guitar, voice, harmonica and foot percussion.
The debut The August List EPs captured their rootsy and ragged sound, from the blues stomp of ‘Forty-Rod of Lightnin’ on ‘Handsome Skin’ to ‘All To Break’ on High Town Crow, with Kerraleigh’s battle-ready vocal rich in the authentic twangs and yelps reminiscent of Emmylou Harris. Yet both EPs also hinted at a more introspective folk side such as on ‘Homeland’ with its mournful pedal steel guitar and a softer, longing tone to Kerraleigh’s voice, or the loping, reverb-drenched ‘Blood Harmony’ calling to mind Jenny Lewis covering The Jesus & Mary Chain.
‘O Hinterland’ further explores this range and diversity; the title conjuring an ethereal setting for the songs’ desperate people and situations to inhabit. Recorded with previous collaborator Graeme Rawson at Silver Street Studios in Reading, Martin and Kerraleigh exchanged the swift process of the first EPs in favour of taking their time to create this varied and textured world, using unusual noises and instruments as well as a full band on some tracks.
The resulting body of work encompasses their rawness and idiosyncrasies whilst flexing their songwriting nous. The debut single from the sessions perfectly showcases their wide range of sound and songcraft – the sandblasted hooks of side one of the single ‘Cut Yr Teeth’ contrasts starkly with side 2 of the single ‘Red Light on the Tower’ which is beautifully languid and comes wrapped in a dusky, melancholic hue.
The August List bring together the modern day alt-country of Wilco, The Felice Brothers and The Handsome Family with a love and respect for the best of the old guard, the Dylans and the Youngs, returning the genre to its former heart and soul. With ‘O Hinterland’ The August List confidently stand on the shoulders of the many other great Americana/folk country acts that make up the scene in Oxford such as The Epstein, The Knights of Mentis, Co-pilgrim, The Dreaming Spires, ToLiesel, Huck & The Xander Band and many more.