Raveis Kole – In the Moment
What’s instantly striking with this new folk CD is that all the music is played by the duo Raveis Kole. So, with that in mind, we know it’s not a collection of showboating music or big production pieces. Perhaps crafty singer-songwriting that subscribes to the simplicity of playing & singing engaging songs is smarter. There’s a variety of instruments displayed throughout with a focus on the importance of people & the roles we play in society.
Songs explore vulnerability & moods, with whimsical lyrics & harmonies on their 2nd full-length 8-track In the Moment (Drops April 28–Bop Records). It was recorded in Austin, TX & Bellingham, WA. Produced & arranged by Laurie Raveis (vocals/whistles/acoustic guitars/lap steel/tambourine/foot drum), Dennis Kole (vocals/shaker/ukulele/ Cavaquinho/Nylon string guitar/harp guitar/high-strung guitar) & Matt Smith.
Laurie’s striking vocal is what’s quickly attractive & evident on tunes like “Sticky & Sweet.” The instrumentation is full sounding despite spare musicianship. The tunes are well-crafted & exuberant. Laurie comes across as someone who could sing children’s songs with ease. Her tone is punchy & intimate & triggers a sing-along even in people who believe they can’t sing.
The whistling addition on some tunes reminds me of the work of Whistling Jack Smith back in the 60s when he scored on the charts with his engaging, eccentric novelty tune “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman.”
But the tone in Laurie’s voice is what’s persuasive & riveting. “So Nice,” is exactly that…so nice. Even with the melodic whistling that breezes throughout the melody. It doesn’t render the song silly – it’s a good addition to the seriousness of the performance along with Dennis’ voice. Each song is optimistic (“Sun Eclipsed By the Moon”) & the vocal shaping is smooth, so smooth.
“Glacier,” is a little more folky-serious & Dennis’ voice is more fluent but it’s still Laurie’s strong vivid vocals that drive the tune. Lyrics are creative & the melodies are tailored gracefully around them. The originality in this duo is solid. There’s a welding of folk & progressive rock weaved into this song that’s hauntingly & chillingly effective without being bombastic or pretentious.
Highlights – “Sticky & Sweet,” “So Nice,” “Glacier” “Sun Eclipsed By the Moon,” & “Gotcha.”