Based in the West Midlands, Bethan and the Morgans was formed by Bethan Edwards and guitarist David Ross a couple of years back, the line-up also featuring Lauren Bennett providing double bass with James Rhodes on electric guitar and Dan Foster on drums, Ross and Bennett also contributing to the three part harmonies.
Edwards’ warbling voice is maybe best described as a cocktail of Dolly Parton, Melanie and early Emmylou. Their debut album Oddity trades in a meld of folk, pop and Americana with songs about being different and the struggles that sometimes brings, opening on an acoustic ballad note with It Won’t Be Today that segues into the soaring Appalachian feel of When It Falls Into Place before the uptempo Time Lost On Your Side rolls around, the opening harmonies giving way to a melody strikingly reminiscent of Snowbird.
Changing Every Day is one of the folksier (but still mountain country-toned) numbers, while, highlighting Bennett and Rhodes, the slow All At Once introduces a bluesy, soulful feel to proceedings with, driven by strummed acoustic guitar, the urgent Running expands on the blues influence and the equally bustling Parted Ways and its reverb guitar hinting at the 60s.
Although the banjo-accompanied, catchily scuttling Dollyesque Go Away sounds like a live foot-stomping favourite, I’m not persuaded there’s that vital breakout track here. However, Coal And Soot’s spectral 42 seconds of harmonies which give way to the, at times rockabilly tinted, title track and the slow swaying, fiddle-backed closer Inconceivable Way certainly indicate the potential to strike on something demanding wider scale attention sooner rather than later.
Review by: Mike Davies
Oddity is Out Now
More here: http://www.bethanandthemorgans.com/