There are some who feel that two voices, when coming together, need be of differing timbres — one smooth, one rough. They would have us believe that a too-similar pairing won’t work, like a double-negative in a sentence negating itself or an opposites attract kind of quantum thinking. But some of the greatest musical duos of all-time have flown in the face of that alleged logic. Look no further than Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway or Simon & Garfunkel for plentiful evidence.
As a new entry into that same historical record, Hush Kids’ Jill Andrews and Peter Groenwald offer a compelling case for the “you can never have enough of a good thing” argument. They each have captivatingly tender voices and, when taken in harmonic tandem, the whole is even greater than the sum of its two magnificent parts.
Throughout their eponymous debut, Hush Kids weave a gorgeous melodic web with varying threads of toughness and texture. On the sparsely populated “Goodbye Rain,” they apply their delicately dulcet tones with a light touch that recalls one of 2017’s most magical and memorable tracks, “Forces of Decay” by Rogue + Jaye. It’s like the spoonful of musical sugar that helps the medicine of heartache go down.
Underneath the lovely exterior presentation, the bones of the song are just as beautiful in their simplicity. “I’ll take my time. After all, it is mine. Don’t feel forsaken,” they sing in the quietly defiant first verse, adding, “I’ll fix my eyes to the white lines tonight. I won’t be shaken.” It’s in no way an angry lashing-out being served. It’s more just a matter-of-fact recounting being brought to bear. It’s a grown-up breakup happening here.
Still, the second verse brings the situation into sharper focus, with a bit of finger-pointing: “You were a rose and, just like the story goes, you left me bleeding … You found me washed up on the shore of a dream that is no more. I stopped believing.” The effect of having two voices — one male, one female — express these sentiments not to each other, but with each other, makes it all the more arresting, as it leaves room for anyone (or everyone) to inject themselves into the song. And who hasn’t had a scene they needed to flee? Thankfully, Hush Kids can now soundtrack your getaway.