The Lesser Of Two Evils

The Lied To's

Hollow Body Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The Lied To's is the Boston husband and wife duo of Susan Levin and Doug Kwartler, who, after a chance meeting at a folk festival, started a musical collaboration that evolved into a personal one. Now on their second album, the pair’s my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Lesser Of Two Evils resonates with an Americana, country, and folk spirit that's as well thought out as it is delivered.

“Cruel World” starts the album with a rousing mix of country and folk, before the soft and sweetly strummed “Millionaire” that reminds us of all the things we love about Emmylou Harris. The title tracks is a warm duet, and “Buffalo” continues that theme with a soulful moment that tugs on the heartstrings. Although the album has plenty of country influences, “One String” is the most overtly country rock tune, and turns into a fuller, dusty anthem.

The second half of the album leads with the mountain-esque sounds and vocal performance from Levin on “Wishing” before the banjo twinkling and darker approach of the mysterious “What Keeps Us In This World?” “Lay Down” might be the closest the band get to a ballad, as the soft keys and gentle singing unfolds like a lullaby. From there the band's best Americana comes in the form of “Windtalker,” which is reminiscent of almighty Whiskeytown with its dual gender vocals and aching backdrop. Things get sparse and lovely near the end with “Diamond Rain,” and the album finishes similar to how it stars with the timeless, elegant sounds of the stripped back “Deportee.”

It's no surprise that The Lesser Of Two Evils landed at #3 on the roots music charts, as the harmonies, textures, and poetic approach here is nothing short of brilliant. For fans of artists like The Civil Wars, Gillian Welch, or even classic country, there is just so much substance to be absorbed here.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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