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The Pearl EP Reviewed 

4.0 out of 5 - TOP ALBUM 

By Jamie Robash 

(As reviewed in nomoredivision.com, an indie-music blog.) 

As if to test their love even further, husband and wife Kris MacQueen and Livia MacQueen decided after fifteen years of marriage to start a band together. To me the whole idea sounds about as good as playing a round of golf during a lighting storm. However for The MacQueen’s the idea seems a natural progression for each of them to make, sharing now their art as they have their lives for so long. The couple recorded their debut EP The Pearl in the basement and living room of their home in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. 

And as if some unseen force were trying to test their will and dedication to making an album together, they recorded the album as the street right in front of their house was being torn up by heavy machinery, something that would have been enough to drive most people mad. But the pair persevered, crafting five quiet and lustrous songs rooted in folk and alt country. 

The EP opens with the “The Pearl.” Built upon a slender acoustic guitar melody, “The Pearl” derives its power from Livia MacQueen’s creamy country twang, backed by Kris MacQueen’s soft echoes. “The Pearl’s” lyrics are hinting at religious allegory though the song itself doesn’t come off as preachy. The opening verse, “For so many years I've wandered / Looking for any way to spend / Every penny of my unearned fortune / Trying to buy what I couldn't comprehend” suggests a longing for a more spiritual life. On “Tear it Down” the pair sing together in a beautifully sad harmony about a relationship that has gone sour, over a slow gypsy-styled guitar and bare bones percussion. 

The pair pick up the pace a bit on the alt-country rambler “Sweet Child” which leads into the slow wielding gypsy-jazz of “Gallows of Desire” which The MacQueen’s recorded with the assistance of Tony Divito on drums, Geoff Smith on electric guitar and Andre Gignac on the upright bass. The MacQueens close out The Pearl with “The Telling and the Show,” a breathy acoustic and heartfelt ballad that once again showcases their beautiful harmonies. 

There is no denying that the MacQueen’s both together and separately have an immense amount of talent. But talent alone is not always enough. Luckily the pair also has a lot of heart. It is this heart one hears most of all deep down in the fibers of these songs, and what, in the end, makes The Pearl such a rare and beautiful find.

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Upcoming Shows

Jun1

Café Crêperie

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Café Crêperie, 40 Mill St. W., Elora

The MacQueens return to Café Crêperie for a night of music. These folks make amazing crêpes, have a good beverage selection and provide a wonderful intimate space to share songs. Open for dinner at 5:30, reservations recommended. See you there! $10 or PWYC

Jul6

Creative Spark In The Yard Festival

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Elora Centre For The Arts, 75 Melville St, Elora

"Summer 2019 – Creative Spark in the Yard comes to ECFTA! We are collaborating with Creative Spark Workshops, a Guelph-based arts festival group, to showcase artisans, makers and artists in Ontario. This festival will be held on the ECFTA grounds July 6 and 7, and we look forward to seeing many local artists and artisans as exhibitors/vendors. For more information you can visit our website here. for more exciting details".

The Pearl

The MacQueens

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The Pearl

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It would be amazingly helpful if you purchased this EP for $10. We are in the midst of production for our first full length album, and every little bit helps!

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    The Pearl

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    Tear It Down

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    Sweet Child

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    Gallows of Desire

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