Teddy Thompson is one of the best living hopes for contemporary music. His songwriting is informed by the poetic touches of country music (he recorded some of his favorites in that vein back in 2007 via Up Front & Down Low). He’s capable of writing impeccable ballads driven by nail-biting narratives. And he can sing.
While one might not guess it from listening to his work, to take him at his word Teddy Thompson's first great musical passions were rockabilly and vintage country music. Thompson paid homage to classic country weepers on his fine 2007 album, Upfront & Down Low, but he's also fond of '50s countrypolitan sounds that merged Nashville twang with upbeat pop. Thompson and fellow singer/songwriter Kelly Jones have teamed up to celebrate the bright melodies and perky production of the countrypolitan era on their 2016 album, Little Windows.
Since the beginning of his recording career, Teddy Thompson has shown an ability to take old sounds and turn them into something redolent, yet distinctly his own. That hasn’t changed on his latest release, a singing and songwriting collaboration with West Coast pop singer Kelly Jones. The set took form on a catch-as-catch-can basis over the past few years, but exudes a captivating coherence anchored in the pair’s dueting.
The Upshot: Fresh take on vintage pop stylings: Hearts break, lovers cheat and jilted partners confront the unfaithful, but even so, the sound remains pure and unpretentious. Could this be a blast from the past? Indeed, it certainly sounds that way thanks to Teddy Thompson and newfound partner Kelly Jones’ take on vintage pop. Despite their relatively brief acquaintance, the two are already perfectly in sync, sounding like they’ve been harmonising forever.