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2:54 - 2:54 (2012)

It would be easy to dismiss 2:54 solely on their hype ... the east London-based sisters dress in dark leather, refrain from smiling in photos, and often find themselves mentioned in the same breath as The xx. But look past the image and concentrate on the music and here's an album of endearing and warmly intimate songs.

Originally from Ireland but growing up in Bristol, sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow spent their youth travelling back to Ireland for family holidays. And it’s the stark imagery of the Irish coast and countryside that informs and shapes the music on this self-titled debut, all dark and expansive with a serene beauty.

Album opener "Revolving" crashes waves of sultry guitar across a steady and glistening beat, Colette’s vocal weaving the tapestry together. That leads straight into the single "You’re Early", a track which builds and falls with elegance and yearning. At times it feels a little like eavesdropping on a whispered diary entry.

Later, "A Salute" is all Tears for Fears atmospherics, with just a hint of Garbage; while the spotlight-stealing "Scarlet" is PJ Harvey at her most destructive, complete with a Belly-blessed chorus.

The only criticism of this record is its overall pace. The songs grow and swell within themselves, but across ten tracks there's little variation from the chosen mold. That’s not to say there isn’t aggression or energy on show, it’s just displayed subtly and in the sisters’ own awkward way.

Still, 2:54 isn’t an album for the dance floor; it’s for two sisters, both writing from separate bedrooms, an honest and personal album that deserves time and attention. There’s no way they could've predicted the reaction they got upon putting a demo of "Creeping" online, and its placement here as album closer feels symbolic - a bookmark at the end of their first chapter as a band.

With this debut album, 2:54 have delivered a collection of deeply mature and addictive tracks. And by avoiding their own hype, they've created something almost naively unaffected.

Rated: no rating
by Reviewer: BBC Music

Posted: Tuesday 25th Jul 2017 12:37 PM
Recent album review
Simon and Garfunkel met at a school production of Alice in Wonderland, where Simon was cast as the white rabbit and Garfunkel as the Cheshire cat. The duo released a few singles as teenagers in the 1950's as Tom and Jerry, and then re-emerged with Wednesday Morning 3am.

The album was recorded before The Beatles hit America, and was part of the folk movement of the time, although I imagine it was located at the unfashionable end of the folk spectrum, what with vigorous covers of the Christmas carol "Go Tell It On the Mountain", the spiritual "You Can Tell the World", and the shanty "Peggy-O".

Indeed, the greater part of Wednesday Morning 3am is discomfortingly jovial, although it scores well for sheer novelty value - there's also a vigorous cover of Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'", which seems oddly inappropriate seeing as most of the other songs are really 'old school'. On the slower side there's a song about a monk, called "Benedictus", and "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream".

The album's redeeming points are Simon's original songs, which are a lot darker and sound less dated. For example, the original acoustic version of "The Sounds of Silence" only needed some electric backing to make it a No.1 single, and although the title track isn't as mature, it's a step ahead of most of the covers.

"Bleecker Street" is maybe the most interesting piece of music here for the discerning Simon and Garfunkel fan. Otherwise, whilst there are signs of promise, most of Wednesday Morning 3am is of kitsch value only.

Footnote: Instead of Simon & Garfunkel's studio albums, you may be better advised to pick up the 2CD Tales from New York, which would adequately represent the catalogue of a duo that only recorded five studio albums.

Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: Fyfeopedia

Posted: Tuesday 25th Jul 2017 12:42 PM
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