Barney Morse-Brown is currently best known for his role as cellist of The Imagined Village, though his skills can also be heard as part of Eliza Carthy’s band as well as on Chris Wood’s critically acclaimed Handmade Life. But all that is set to change as Morse-Brown launches his solo efforts under the pseudonym Duotone, a reflection of his double edged role as both cellist/guitarist and vocalist. With a pedigree background in the folk world, the solo route seems a logical progression it would seem for the former Royal College of Music student, who has previously explored the songwriter terrain during a two year break from the cello post graduation.
Work Harder & Some Day You’ll Find Her is a tender debut. Dedicated in loving memory of his late musician wife Kate Garrett, Morse-Brown’s hushed vocal is tempered with subtle affection. For the core emotions, Morse-Brown relies heavily upon his cello. Honest in its portrayal to the enth degree, Morse-Brown’s cello allows us into his healing heart. At times wistful, others hopeful, the pseudonym Duotone is easily explicable as the cello is as much a part of Morse-Brown as his soft whisper.
A rewardingly tender release.
Though Work Harder & Some Day You’ll Find Her is a downbeat affair, it is far from bland. Subtle contrasts ensure that each of the albums nine tracks are worthwhile stand alone listening experiences. “Work Harder” is heartbreakingly repetitive through to the uplifting determination of “Pray For Me”. Occasionally Morse-Brown appears to wallow, with “In The Evening” clearly languishing in the past. Yet his mood altering honest approach is a refreshing release from the world of concealed loss.
Work Harder & Some Day You’ll Find Her is a rewardingly tender release. Duotone proves it is possible to be both introverted and expressive in the same breath. By revisiting his own life experiences, Duotone is unpretentious in his retelling of feelings. An uncomplicated listen that effortlessly challenges, moves and motivates.