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Tenement & Temple

Tenement & Temple

Released: 25th September 2019

Tenement and Temple are Johnny Smillie and Monica Queen, formerly of Glaswegian country rock heroes Thrum, and of course, Monica is the female voice on Belle and Sebastian’s “Lazy Line Painter Jane” single.

This is a record that eschews the trappings of rock or folk or indie or whatever else it may be labelled with; these are songs that have backing vocals that recall the Carter Family duet-ing with The Statler Brothers on the Johnny Cash “spiritual” records and gentle picked acoustic guitar that’s as delicate as gossamer. Of course. Queen’s voice is a thing of wonder; One Room House sees her subtle tones heading towards a more blues-y, primal thing in the chorus and the warm domesticity-meets-heartbreak of this and Loving Arms envelope the listener. There is a theme of sorts throughout the record; home, happiness, the passage of time, (dis)contentment and the vagaries of that old devil called love. The record plays as a piece rather than a collection of tracks bunged together and one can hear that the duo have put heart and soul into this.