There’s a gentle persuasion stitched into every chord and melody that flow from Chattanooga-based singer-songwriter duo Drakeford. Home to the thoughts of husband and wife Drakeford and Lucy-Jayne Lanier, the band evokes a kindhearted authenticity, a wealth of folk-encircled imagery shuffling casually from one track to the next. Their sound strays along the line between sacred and secular music but never loses its unique and affecting shuffle to any overbearing influences.
Light to the touch and bathed in a sunset glow, their work rambles from one idea to another without hesitation and often within the same song. It’s weightless in the way that great folk music can be, reminiscent of the Appalachian spiritual renderings of the early 20th century. They’ve only just begun to show how deep their reverence is and how their complicated proficiency with these sounds lends their music an earnest truth and rural echo.
This holiday season, they decided to add their musical offering to our Rudolph- and Grinch-filled landscape. A Christmas album, “God With Us,” finds the duo tackling four tracks that speak to their prowess in both adaptation and deference to source material. Opening with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” the record quickly strikes a brisk and ready pace, filling the air with sweetly stomping percussion and gorgeous harmonies. Piano slinks into the mix on “What Child Is This,” a Christmas carol dating back to 1865, and they pair silvery, shimmering melodies with a sweeping percussive theatricality.
“Let It Snow” drops the gravitas a bit and injects a bit of playful, brass-tinged ebullience into their musicality. It’s hard to hear their version without a considerable grin working its way across your face. Resting at the close of the EP is “In the Bleak Midwinter,” a somber and string-filled holiday song based on a work by the English poet Christina Rossetti. Voices gather and rise while guitars strum and piano keys hammer diligently—it’s a graceful and fitting end to a collection that firmly holds to thoughts of God and unselfishness over any sort of crass sentimentality.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.