The Bowmans – Scrutiny
The Bowmans (twin sisters Claire & Sarah) possess unified vocals in the tradition of the Canadian McGarrigle Sisters & NJ’s The Roches. They have a wonderful melodic tone, & a well-controlled vocal splash. Their new LP is a highly personal effort that explores themes of family dysfunction, coping mechanisms, destructive societal norms, & overcoming mental illness.
Claire & Sarah moved to NYC & their new CD was produced by Sarah (keys/acoustic guitar/cello/vocals) & features Claire (vocals/keys), Christian Winiker (electric guitar), Mathias Kunzli (drums/percussion), Patrik Zosso with Daniel Somaroo (beat programming), & Wolfgang Zwiauer (bass/synths).
The 11-cut Scrutiny (Drops Sept 24-TOURBO/Mother West) with lyric insert is a well-designed CD. Cut one “Digger,” is a bit controversial. Based on the sisters taking issue with the federal government’s exploitation at the Mexican border. The sister’s resulting disdain for the corruption allegedly in the Trump White House (they were speaking in 2018).
The Bowman’s anger was with the imprisonment of illegal immigrants at the border & imprisonment in crude cages & the separated children from families. However, the crude cages were made & implemented by the Obama Administration. All videos of these cages were time-stamped (upper-left corner) with 2014. Trump wasn’t President in 2014.
If a songwriter doesn’t like Trump that’s fine. But blaming him for cages issued in 2014 by another administration — when he wasn’t in government yet, is irresponsible.
In “The Crazing of Polymers,” the sisters maintain their quality in music. They sing with tonality & phrasing similar to early Joni Mitchell. A delightful song. Riveting, poetic lyrics applied to the music superbly.
I have no issue with the talent The Bowmans possess. They write sharp, intense, perplexing songs. Their vocals are plaintive, strong & atmospheric. “Floodwaters,” is heavier & has a nice consistency. A vocal-tinge that’s mindful of folk singer Ferron mixed with the Indigo Girls. This continues on “Mad at the World,” another unified energetic vocal, in the tradition of The Roches. Superb.
All songs were written by The Bowmans. Color image courtesy of their website.
The 42-minute CD is available @ https://www.thebowmansmusic.com/home