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CD Review: Trust 

The Levins Trust

(2015, Independent)

Sibling harmonies rule. That's the trope, at least, that the blood provides a kinship to the voice as well as the heart. But marital harmonies have their own shape, a different kind of kinship, and certainly a different kind of intimacy. Couples learn how to move together in a way that, one hopes, siblings never do. The Levins (Ira and Julia) have the latter trick down. They sing as one, with a delicious, sweet union that sounds like wine. The duo's latest effort is named Trust, and perhaps that's the key to the way their voices engage. Rarely does light-rock fare float my boat, but Trust is both epically mellow and eminently fine. Once Blue's 1995 debut (featuring Kingston's Rebecca Martin) remains one of my favorite discs because it similarly balances the precious and the profound.

There's nothing twee about Trust, and the arrangements dovetail with the lyrics and those relaxed, sinuous harmonies. Heck, I'll even forgive them the Bruce Cockburn cover ("Love Song"), and that's not me. The pair's original songs fit the website description of being "warm and uplifting without skating over the complexities of life." "World of Peace," for example, which floats by on a beautiful fiddle line from Sara Milonovich, extols a classic (and wishful) Woodstock view of a happy world without pouring on the sugar.

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  • Michael Eck reviews The Levins's latest album.


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