Released: October 2015
Country duo Lewis & Leigh continue to show their chops on Hidden Truths EP, an undeniably pretty collection of songs that doesn’t quite deliver on the promise it shows.
Hailing from the American South and the Welsh coast, Al Lewis & Alva Leigh meld their differing heritage together seamlessly in this collection of nostalgic Americana songs that occasionally lets in hints of folk.
With its sparse, scratchy guitar intro and Leigh’s mournful vocals, Heart Don’t Want is a great opening act and builds to include smooth harmonies and soulful horns. It’s a sultry song with a hint of menace to it and is easily the highlight of the EP.
Only Fifteen tells the story of a young man finding out that he is adopted, and the journey of discovery that ensues. It’s an unusual subject to be sure and is tackled in a unique way with Lewis’ upbeat folk-rock verses suddenly halting for Leigh’s brassy and soulful chorus, with Leigh effectively acting out the role of the mother in the story. It’s a nice idea wrapped up in a nice song and is certainly stronger than Please Darlin, a breezy, schmaltzy ‘Sunday morning is pleasant’ number about the joys of unwinding with a good record and a dance with the one you love. It’s not an actively bad song but it’s very slight and self-satisfied, lacking the more interesting sounds of Heart Don’t Want and the storytelling of Only Fifteen.
Things are rounded out with a cover of Elton John’s Country Comfort. It’s a pretty straight cover, with John’s slightly jaunty piano swapped out for rustic acoustic guitars but that’s about it. It’s fine, but doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.
Hidden Truths shows that while Lewis & Leigh have an obvious talent, they need to fight the relaxed complacency that sometimes leaves them sounding a bit like a coffee shop covers CD. Their harmonies are always easy on the ears but they’re at their best when they’re tackling something a bit more difficult.