The Chord and the Fawn: This Has To Be Meant To Be

The ukulele, once relegated to Hawaiian travel videos, is making a huge comeback—at least in our humble cities. Local songstress Lucy Michelle has shared the spotlight with one on nearly every stage in at least a 30-mile radius. It's charming. It's romantic. It's so gosh darn little. And in the debut EP by the Chord and the Fawn, the ukulele's local street cred is finally finalized. This Has to Be Meant to Be focuses its attention on the instrument, only sparsely embellishing it with a concertina, bells, a drum machine, and a kalimba, an African plucking instrument. An African plucking instrument plus a ukulele plus a drum machine? This is pop music thinking outside the guitar-shaped box. The five-song trinket is pleasantly topped off with Dani Lewis's swooning mezzo-soprano and her sprinkling of whistles. "Ahlou" is a delightful, upbeat number with cameos by ocean waves and seagulls and some serious beachy chanting from the duo's other half, Angie Krube. "Assuming Makes an Ass Out of You and Me" rolls along somberly, with a hushed flute wisping underneath Lewis's painfully honest lyrics about a love that could have been. "Young Executive," however, is triumphantly infatuated, extolling giddily the virtues of magnetic connections and mating dances. Overall, the Chord and the Fawn are gentle and endearing. This EP serves as a perfect starting point for the group. Less than a year old, the Chord and the Fawn have already shown their pop skills and position among blossoming local talent. Though the duo enjoys playing in the calm, if caffeinated, atmosphere of Uptown's Beat coffee shop, This Has to Be Meant to Be proves it's time for that ukulele to see brighter lights.

 
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