Who says this is the era of the single? There are plenty of grand, cohesive albums out there that have a beginning, middle, and end—one of the best in recent memory is the Morning Ritual’s The Clear Blue Pearl, a collaboration invoked by composer Ben Darwish and featuring vocalist twins Katelyn and Laurie Shook. In it, a man and wife are forced by drought to leave their wasted land and seek life elsewhere, but a false paradise may loom. Below, watch the mesmerizing first chapter, “The Drought.”
Fields washed out by the sun, an old farmhouse, and a tellingly empty baby basket set the scene for some escape—what kind? The cinematography is as lush and fluid as the world is dry and pale, equal to the rootsy but tightly knitted three-part harmonies, which fall somewhere between Fleet Foxes and Low. Underneath it all, Darwish’s eloquent, measured piano phrases make each new cascade of the song feel truer than the one previous.
You can also buy The Clear Blue Pearl
in its entirety on Bandcamp
, or just stream it here: