Pale Mara – Lee Godleski and Alison Robinson – are enchanting on their debut release. Sounding a bit like Kacy & Clayton or some obscure Brit folk combo from the ’60s, the pair split writing and singing duties on the album, starting with Godleski’s “Not Like I Used To” which begins with steady strummed acoustic guitar, joined by the lead guitar of David Kammerer, who’s melodic electric lines throughout the disc remind of a subdued Jerry Garcia. Next up is Alison’s “Bird”, built upon Godleski’s piano part. The song has a ramshackle charm akin to moments from Judee Sill or Sandy Denny.
The album’s ten cuts are a relaxed blend of folky pop, thankfully not too polished or produced, sounding organic and natural. The pair harmonize beautifully, and the arrangements of the songs are subtle, revealing nuances on each listen. There are moments of Music From Big Pink or The Basement Tapes here, and you can’t go too far wrong with that era. Let’s hope for more from Pale Mara in the future.