Two sweetly angst-ridden voices, an acoustic guitar and an Earth Day-friendly backdrop is all you need from folk duo The Civil Wars. Made up of California native Joy Williams and Alabaman John Paul White, The Civil Wars' songs have been heard on Grey's Anatomy and even on Taylor Swift's official iTunes playlist. Their debut full-length album Barton Hallow is a jovial mix of cherubic acoustic melodies and raw, foot-stomping barn raisers folded within largely sparse arrangements. The whole album has the intimacy of a hard-fought confession--anything more is unnecessary.
The Civil Wars came together almost instantaneously, initially meeting at a writing camp where songwriters came together to write radio singles for a particular country band. They met their future producer a few months later at their first show. Their second show was released as a free digital album. While this might been seen as haughty for a band to do, like releasing a "Best Of" album after just a few years, it's just a testament to their compatibility.
Particularly in this exclusive video, the longing connection between the Williams and White is palpable--almost uncomfortable--like we're catching a personal moment by peeking through the window blinds. It's their musical and emotional harmony that makes an otherwise simple song truly resonate. The energy between them reminds me a bit of Jack and Meg White. But the big difference is that The Civil Wars are complete equals, while The White Stripes had one carefully, but affectionately, guiding the other.
Check out our exclusive video of The Civil Wars performing their song "My Father's Father" fresh out of SXSW. Their first full-length album Barton Hallow was released in February this year.
Watch their official video for "Barton Hallow":