Before Darkness Comes a-Callin’ The Weeping Willows Independent With Before Darkness Comes a-Callin’ Melbourne duo the Weeping Willows offers a consistently chilling vision of a world gone to hell, where people are making poor choices and facing the prospect of having eternity to pay for them.
The oppressive weight and consequences of living and loving are laid bare with a surgeon’s precision in 10 songs filled with power and beauty. They sound like they could have been written anytime in the past century.
Recorded in Los Angeles by producer Ryan Freeland, with overdubs added in Nashville, Floresville, Texas, and Ontario, there is wellplaced confidence in the material, with never more on offer than is required musically or lyrically. Laura Coates’s voice has an attentiongrabbing power while Andy Wrigglesworth’s contributions are more intimate, as every song builds on the blend of their rock steady singing and his guitar playing.
David Piltch’s upright bass adds a heartbeat and backbone while sympathetic touches from guests on steel (Tommy Detamore), banjo (Kevin Breit), fiddle and mandolin (Luke Moller) add a polish that never detracts from the dirty business at the heart of the duo’s material.
The scant detail in murder ballads Forever in My Dreams and Garden of Tears adds a touch of mystery. River of Gold is a love song of sorts but one where the singer says in chilling fashion, “I’ll take the fall and sell my soul to you”. Travelling Man (co-written by Lachlan Bryan) offers a conversation between a couple where one is driven to follow his dream no matter the consequences. The addition of Detamore’s haunting steel makes it the most compelling track.