Trummors - Over and Around the Clove (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Over and Around the Clove (2012)

Ernest Jennings Record Co.

Anybody who's done time in Ted Leo and the Pharmacists gets my attention, no questions asked. Which is why it's a delight to check in on Trummors, the latest project between ex-Pharmacists bassist David Lerner and Anne Cunningham. The duo's debut, Over and Around the Clove, is decidedly unpunk, but still mighty fine. A country/folk record with of delicate disposition, Clove makes excellent chill out music.

While the songs do feature some sparse accompaniment, Cunningham and Lerner dominate the proceedings. Vocal duties are split between the two, although the partners having similar singing styles, making for a cohesive whole. Cunningham has the same kind of plaintive singing style as, say, Laura Veirs, while Lerner is just as calm in his delivery. Like a country Thurston Moore, maybe. Regardless of who takes the mic, Trummors' music is similarly simple in arrangement. Mostly just acoustic guitar, with a dash of percussion, maybe the occasional steel guitar or banjo flourish.

Clove runs just shy of 28 minutes, which suits it style. Much like Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline, it's a basic country record that's remarkable in how it embodies the genre without indulging any of its creative clichés. The most touching track is easily a cover of "Grow Too Old." Yeah, it's a Bobby Charles cover, but it's taken on extra significance as "Silver and Gold," the last song on the last Joe Strummer album.

That back-to-basics approach sure does hurt the diversity a bit, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish one sleepy country/folk ditty from another. But tunes this easygoing are hard to hate on. Trummors aren't exactly mindblowing, but there's something to be said for songwriting this effortlessly listenable. Clove is a solid record, remarkable in its quiet nature.