Stone & Snow is an Americana duo consisting of Karen Bridges (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, banjo, ukulele, organ, percussion) and Clint Thomson (acoustic & electric guitars, vocals, harmonica, mandolin, banjo, lap steel). They are joined by John Ganser (drums) and Chuck Hill (upright & electric bass). Together, they create cosmic underpinnings of folk and Americana that might remind you of Florence + the Machine, if Florence + the Machine ever ventured into folk music. Other comparisons can be drawn to Of Monsters and Men and The Lumineers.
The band has self-produced and released five studio albums to date, with their latest being an EP called "Delicate and Wild." Today, we’ll be reviewing "Delicate and Wild" as the band offers an up-close-and-personal look into their musical style.
The EP opens up with “Cruel,” featuring finger-picking on the acoustic guitar that delivers a searing sound. Bridges’s captivating vocal harmonies come in, and she coos and croons with emotion, showcasing the expansiveness of her vocals. The folksy renditions in this song were exceptional, immediately evoking a strong emotional response. The smooth piano sounds added to the overall greatness of the track. In "Moonrise," gentle acoustic sounds accompany Bridges and Thomson's harmonious vocals, creating a mellow and laid-back appeal. The addition of synthetic strings enhances the lush sound of the song, making it perfect for a loving couple enjoying the moonlight together. "Who Am I" introduces finger-picking on the mandolin, and Bridges's heartfelt singing is joined by Thomson's vibes, resulting in a moody and bluesy track that reminds me of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. This song is another sprawling gem from the band.
On “Wait,” the revved-up harmonica adds energy to the track, while Bridges and Thomson's harmonies create a compelling sound. The lushness of this song is inviting, almost like a lullaby that gracefully tugs at your heartstrings. "The Hardest Part Of Loving You" features more acoustic guitar, accompanied by Bridges's bluesy twang, making it a bustling and fantastic Americana/bluesy track. The ukulele also contributes delightful vibes to the song. "Outro" begins with slow strumming on the acoustic guitar and gradually builds up into a wonderful and delightful mix that includes the mandolin. Bridges and Thomson's interweaving vocals create a captivating sound, making it a dynamic closer for the album.
The EP was recorded in rural Ohio, outside Cincinnati, at a barn on private property known as "the barn on the hill" in Lebanon, OH. From the very beginning, the excellent acoustics of the barn are evident, enhancing Bridges's heartfelt vocals and furthering the cosmic feel that the band was aiming for.
Bridges's vocals take center stage and leave a lasting impact with their inspiring and emotive qualities. The instrumentals backing her are also outstanding, contributing to the overall effect of the music. The band deserves recognition for their sprawling and expansive releases, and if you give "Delicate and Wild" a listen, you will undoubtedly appreciate their exceptional sound!