Over the last two decades, The Kennedys have released a string of albums to critical acclaim in the US, that have traversed a broad musical landscape, surveying power pop, acoustic songwriting, organic rock rooted in their early days in Austin, and a Byrds-inspired jangle that drew the attention of McGuinn, Steve Earle, and most notably Nanci Griffith.
The Kennedys albums have been largely unrecognised in the UK, except by a devoted coterie who scan the Internet for import-only releases. That will change this year as the duo prepare to release "Closer Than You Know", their first fully promoted UK album since "Life is Large" was a radio staple some years back.
After a recent barnstorming tour with Nanci Griffith (they produced Griffith's latest CD, "Intersection"), the duo are ready to strike out on their own, this time with an eye to the UK side of the pond. Their live show is honed from literally thousands of Stateside one-nighters, and their new songs have a quality, inherent in Maura's voice, that is both soothing and urgent.
"Closer Than You Know" marks the eleventh release for the duo. This is pop for grownups, sweetness without froth, and you may find your spirits lifted, even as the texture shifts from sunlit to a rich darkness. Pete's instrumental arrangements cushion Maura's bell-like harmonies, and the sonic colours reflect a palette of influences, from John Barry to the Byrds, but ultimately The Kennedys stand on their own and once again come up with a unique sound that is as uplifting as it is unclassifiable.