Patricia Lynn and Dwight Baker are a songwriting powerhouse. They have perfected the catchy hook and colorful harmonies that have characterized the recent rise of “pop folk” music in the past few years. Their new album From the Wreckage by their duo The Wind and the Wave is an exceptionally enjoyable album that will have you tapping your toes and smiling at clever lyrics. If there was such a thing as bubble gum folk music, this is it.
Fans are going to find a lot to like on this album from the very catchy opener “My Mama Said Find a Place to Lay Your Head” to the end. It’s a great song full of hand claps and gang vocals. It’s actually the song that led me to the album and it’s a smiling-inducing track for sure. It’s about family and love and cautions against the flippancy of being young. It’s got wisdom hidden in the midst of those catchy harmonies.
The second track “From the Wreckage” is a grittier, minor-chord infused track. It’s got a nice narrative flair combined with a different sense of perseverance in the midst of romantic trials. “We’re built to last.” The song screams of “we can do it” mentality. It’s a great anthem for a couple enduring hardship. The handclaps drive the rhythm while the kickdrum gives it a feeling of grandiosity. Good stuff.
“With Your Two Hands” is one of the cleverest tracks in terms of sophisticated lyrics. Patricia Lynn’s vocals really soar on the “fools will die alone” lyric. It’s about carelessness and violence and human ugliness. The album shifts a bit toward the following “It’s a Longer Road to California,” which seems a bit more of a purist pop song from Lynn’s opening vocals. It’s about going to Cali and smoking pot. Well, that and a sense of adventure. But it’s probably the most viable “top 40” song on the album and I’d be okay with that. It’s a good, enjoyable, happy song.
“Every Other Sunday Morning” is a bit more of a lament. It’s also the kind of track you’d expect on a typical folk album. Lynn’s vocals are crystal clear on this one, highlighting the high level production quality on the album. “Can’t measure sadness by your sorrow… forever crawling out from all the rubble, from all the pain.” It’s a deeply human expression of pain and heartache. It seeks and contemplates, “sweet forgiveness.” It’s a gem.
“Raising Hands Raising Hell Raise ’em High” is an anthemic folk rock track that puts me in the mind of Audra Mae from a few years ago. It’s about a hell raising young woman. “I don’t wanna go to church no more… I don’t wanna go to school… I got Jesus on the dashboard and the Devil sittin’ in a pew next to you… as long as I’m next to you.” haha. Seriously who writes like that? Apparently this duo does. It’s such a clever line as part of a “devil may care” anthem. I haven’t heard a song so perfect for a Saturday night party since “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks.
Near the end of the album there’s a deep and contemplative song called “A Husband and Wife Should Sleep Together.” It’s about soulful connection and intimacy in a kind of cathartic simplicity. Sung with a jazz effect on her vocals and a blissfully plodding delivery, it’s a song without a synonym. “You cast a hook in me and reeled me in. If only you could see what I’m seein’.” How many of us have felt that depth of emotion in a relationship? “Who taught you to love like that?” Good question.
The final track “This House is a Hotel” goes out with the typical Wind and the Wave style, that is with hand claps and some nice full major chords. Oh and Lynn’s killer vox do it up right again. By the end of the album listeners realize that this is not a typical “she’s okay” folk vocalist. It’s apparent that Lynn could be singing big arena pop if she wanted (and may with this act, really). “Ain’t no man gonna save my soul… let the rain come down… flowers will grow and you won’t come around anymore.” The track seems to blend religious imagery with a broken relationship. Although more classically a blues songwriting technique (or, perhaps even country), it comes through beautifully in this powerful pop folk ballad. This is a hit, plain and simple.
This duo are ready for their big break and soon. They’re moving up the charts every day. It’s only a matter of time before we’re seeing them on the CMT award shows. The thing is, we typically don’t cover major label acts like this, but this review and this duo prove the influence of the support of this kind of music. Without other bands that preceded them like Ivan and Alyosha or the Lumineers, this kind of band never would have hand a chance to get a major deal and even make this album. So bravo to the Wind and the Wave. Readers of this site should definitely snatch up this album. It’s a good one, start to finish.