Does the world need another folk/pop duo? Your gut says no, but when the songwriting and performances on Vocal Few’s newest EP, The Dream Alive, are as solid as this, the answer is an emphatic yes. Music like this inspires me to slow down, pour my favorite beverage and relax on the porch. Vocal Few is comprised of a husband/wife team Matt and Kristie MacDonald (Matt of The Classic Crime fame), based out of Seattle, WA. The duo originally got their inspiration from the birth of their first daughter, who, when born, motivated their quest to support the new family by utilizing their musical talents. (I see a future album that kids and adults will be singing along with for many road trips to come.) Any research into the lives of the MacDonalds (who are a fairly transparent couple via their websites, Instagram and other social outings), show they fit squarely in the center of minimalist and independent living, which strikes an elemental chord in all of us. If you were to ask them which of these songs (as well as any of the songs from previous releases) is a filler, I believe they would justifiably claim each song as one of their children. From a musical standpoint, as a drummer, I am typically put off by the lack of drums in any project. Not this time. The spacing of the minimalist TDA is truly effective; I believe the addition of drums (or anything else) would be detrimental and surely add a generic element to their effort. Armed with a piano and guitar, Kristie and Matt are accomplished rhythm-smiths that know how to allow enough room for their vocals and pure songwriting to lead the way.
Music done this well doesn’t require analyzing to the nth degree. Just drop the needle as you watch the sunset.