EXCLAIM! Review April 2015

Review of Journey Home by Sarah Towle    EXCLAIM!

There’s something distinctly Ontarian about Kyra and Tully’s fourth release, Journey Home. Between Kyra’s stunning, Sarah Harmer-esque vocals, the winter weather-inspired lyrics and the laid-back banjo arrangements (and perhaps their history of being featured on CTV’s Degrassi Junior High), this Kingston-based husband-wife duo is Central Canadiana to the core.

Journey Home kicks off with the gentle — but drum-driven — “Write About It,” a song made to be cranked on a car radio while driving through cottage country. Similarly, the title track is full of those aforementioned Sarah Harmer octave leaps and gentle backing harmonies, which hold the album’s catchiest chorus (“Cold Winds through Ontario/Shake the Windows”). There’s also something in there with that small-town, dingy watering-hole sound: the lo-fi blues tune “Why Don’t You Call.”

While Journey Home lends itself to a handful of deliciously sweet moments, the album tends to suffer from a minor identity crisis, bouncing back between a singer-songwriter sound on the Kyra-dominated tracks and a more blues-rock sound on those featuring Tully (“Thunder and Lightning” and “Why Don’t You Call” are the stand-outs). But overall, the EP lends itself to the roots of its composers — straight from the heart of the Heartland province. (Independent)




Greyowl Point Music Blog Review of Journey Home 2015

Review Journey Home Greyowl Point reviewed by Elysse Cloma

Kyra and Tully - Journey Home - coverI have a soft spot for family bands. Maybe it’s because I was raised with the sounds of The Carpenters and Captain & Tenille, or maybe it’s a function of being in a band with my older sister. I think that pop artists who make music with their loved ones almost always have a special appeal. For example, Sonny & Cher’s music gets its strength from their talent as vocalists, but the dynamic of their relationship as husband and wife gives songs like “I Got You Babe” their appeal. “I Got You Babe” celebrates Sonny & Cher’s relationship as a married couple, making the song sugary sweet and instantly likeable.

Husband and wife duo Kyra and Tully of Kingston, Ontario make music with the same “sugary sweet” appeal as many before them. Like the hippie countercultural music of the 1960s, Kyra and Tully’s five-song EP Journey Home is meant to inspire hope in their listeners. Brought to life by dozens of accompanying musicians, the songs on Journey Home are uplifting and filled with love. Kyra and Tully’s music expresses love in all forms, whether it’s romantic love, love for the beauty of nature, or a love of life.

The EP’s title track “Journey Home” is a proper Canadian folk tune. Using Lake Ontario as the setting for a melancholic song about love, it’s reminiscent of Joni Mitchell’s music— down tempo and melodic, glazed with a tint of sorrow and a feeling of loss. On “Journey Home”, Kyra’s vocal performance is largely featured, along with string accompaniment. Her careful and flawless transition between chest and head voice, and gentle pronunciation of each word make the song’s nature-inspired lyrics all the more poetic.

While “Journey Home” is a slow and pensive folk tune, “Why Don’t You Call” and “Thunder and Lightning” are more upbeat and danceable tracks. The brass section on “Thunder and Lightning”, and the rock organ on “Why Don’t you Call” give each song their retro character.

With slide guitar and organ filling the background with a folk and country feel, opening track “Write About It” is a celebration of romantic love. Closing track “Love In All These Things” is a way of finding beauty and love in everything, such as a “planted stone”. Orchestrated by stringed instruments, and incredibly hooky, “Love In All These Things” seems to encompass the spirit of Kyra and Tully. Music that captures the purity of love is really well communicated by family bands, and Journey Home is a batch of inspiring songs that are made with love.

Top Tracks: “Journey Home”; “Love In All These Things”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

Love in All These Things

Video by James Reid. Song appears on EP Journey Home April 2015