The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport - THRILL JOCKEY
FILTER Grade: 80%
By Clare R. Lopez on March 5, 2012
Luke Roberts takes his time. From the very start of his second album, The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport, he lets his folk refrains reveal their simple, moving adornments at their own pace. Tracks like “Everytime” begin with his spoken vocals and acoustic guitar, building into a pair of fiddle solos that subtly take this minimal approach to another level without overpowering its austerity. The backing vocals of Emily Sunblad on “Spree Wheels” adds a contrasting sliver of brightness against Roberts’ own solemn tone as they sing, “This is my home / White, blue and green / Like a spree wheel road / Kind of wild and mean.” Although Sunblad makes another brief appearance on Newport’s closer, “Second Place Blues,” it is the delicate and swift guitar work, swirling to and fro, that steals the spotlight. Together, these details seem to beg the question: What’s the rush?