Ward Thomas

A Shorter Story EP

(Sony Music)

The country-influenced twins visit some material by others to add their own touch and thus add to their works. If anyone thought the duo might bring us versions of old country standards, prepare to be surprised. In passing, I don’t like the term ‘covers’ though everyone seems to use it. Better aim at versions or takes or interpretations. The also very common ‘reimagining’ is a phrase that reeks of artistic licence dragged into desecration…. Anyway I have long since learned that it is best NOT to choose songs by others that you love, but select those you think you can do something with. The Hendrix’ edition of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower springs to mind, or indeed what Jamie Cullum brings to The Wind Cries Mary.

The Blower’s Daughter is I believe from the pen of Damien Rice around 2002 and has a bitter tinge amplified by TBD Pt 2. I did read of a couple choosing the song as their wedding dance! They’d be better off with a Lionel Richie job I think. Ward Thomas approach the song lightly with lone acoustic guitar, adding to the arrangement as they proceed and those clean harmonies to the fore plus a hint of electronica. Reminds me of prime Katie Melua. A prominent electric twelve string counterpoint would given this more impact. The beauty of the song is put over well.

What Goes Around..Comes Around is I think a Timberlake job. He always sings like a girl, so no great leap required. The sound is sparse and led by the voices. It’s a sad song and that flavour is kept. The ascending notes bridge is something the duo can tackle with comfort; Shine is a composition from fey pop outfit Years & Years, not a favourite act with this listener. The conspiratorial lead vocal suits the number which now sounds decidedly country.

WALLS comes from the Kings Of Leon songbook. It’s taken here very gently indeed and with a rather chilly setting.  It’s a typical ‘I’m hard done by’ lyric from the originators. A polyrhythmic beat sets in @ 1:20 but sounds a tad robotic and I’d rather have a string arrangement on this one. Better Be Home Soon comes in on piano and the Finn melody is as gorgeous as it ever was. The song is not reinvented in any way, but presented with the warmest vocal on this collection and the best singing, I would contend. Sounds like it ought to be on the credits of a film, front or aft.

Just as an aside – and just that – the girls look less and less alike as they grow a bit older…

Pete Sargeant


Ward Thomas ‘A Shorter Story’ EP is released by Sony Music and is available to buy now. 

You can purchase it as a download or as a physical CD at their live shows.

You can read our full review of their second album ‘Cartwheels’ here: http://bit.ly/2comMQe

For artist information and tour dates, head across to https://www.wardthomasmusic.com/

Ward Thomas