Were the world a fair place, Saskatchewan duo Kacy & Clayton would be filling stadiums and rolling fields at outdoor stages with their traditional folk songs.
On their fifth album, Carrying On, there’s a quiet, stoic strength in singer Kacy Anderson and guitarist Clayton Linthicum’s songwriting as each musician plays off the other to form a sum so much greater than its parts. Anderson’s angelic voice soars with a gossamer quality that belies her young age, while Linthicum plays the guitar like he’s reading poetry, equal parts virtuosic and melodic.
Carrying On stumbles open with a drum roll on “The Forty-Ninth Parallel,” which quickly sees Kacy & Clayton luxuriously stretch into their comfort zone with a lilting rhythm and understated arrangement that feels as airy and delicate as an autumnal prairie sunset. Immaculately produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, each instrument and vocal line has ample space to shine on its own, coming together in a seamless whole that feels effortless.
Indeed, Anderson and Linthicum are at the top of their game on this record in part because of the space afforded to each of them to play traditional folk in an English tradition that sounds almost too good to be true.