Tennessee Twin have pulled off a bit of coup with their latest single. For joining the Cambridge-based duo on ‘When We Move’ is renowned pedal steel guitar player Sarah Jory. Jory brings an added layer of authenticity to a song that is already saturated with a classic country sound, thanks to the tender harmonies of Victoria Mills’ vocal and partner Geoff’s gentle playing of the acoustic guitar. Fans will be overjoyed to know that there is no departure from the sound that made their debut EP, ‘Tips in a Jar’, such a captivating listen. Instead, the same mellow tones can be found, this time accompanying a story of reconciliation. And what a beautiful story it is, told with lyrics that are at once simple yet profoundly impactful.
It begins with a couple who have been separated by “the river of our words”, both equally as stubborn so as “we’d rather stand our ground than start to fall”. But then there is this realisation in the chorus that “When we move/ we move in closer”. The second verse picks this theme up nicely, particularly in the bridge, as they reflect on how there’s been “too many corners we’ve turned/ to lose it all”. It is how strength is drawn from the depth of a relationship in light of disagreement that strikes me as the important message here; with the sentiment that precedes it – “Don’t let anger be bigger than love” – also one that speaks not just of the couple in the song but to each one of us as listeners too.
I think this is the reason that ‘When We Move’ strikes me as an inspiring song, because it contains the kind of love that is hard; that requires us to swallow our pride in an act of self-sacrifice for the well-being of another. It is why the tender musicality that accompanies the lyrics works so well. The pedal steel, acoustic guitar, and Victoria’s vocal meld so well, reflecting the “heartbeats that are blending” in the words of the song. It is also why the fairy dust sprinkled right at the end feels deeply ironic, the happy ending being hard-won through humility rather than magically resolved into a neatly packaged epilogue.
Overall then, ‘When We Move’ continues Tennessee Twin’s penchant for thoughtful storytelling, with Sarah Jory adding not so much a sprinkling of magic as being a well-chosen collaborator, helping to give this particular story the kind of realism that country music delivers so well.
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Originally published on Belles & Gals on March 6th 2021.
Featured Image (C) Tennessee Twin