Music Review: Tandem by Waterdeep

In Articles, Culture, Music & Movies by Steven Sukkau

2020 Hey Ruth Music

Husband and wife duo, Waterdeep, are incredibly deep, rich storytellers through their music. Their latest album, Tandem, is no different.

Lori Chaffer brings a crystal-clear voice filled with emotion, reminiscent of the late Dolores O’Riordan and the Cranberries, ranging from husky hushed tones to delicate falsetto.

Meanwhile, Don adds that world-weary troubadour sound, as he mournfully sings, “Talk may be cheap/but it buys you a lot.”

And while it would be easy to write-off the album as traditional acoustic singer-songwriter fare, the artistry and layering of background vocals, drums, strings and brass create a colorful soundscape. The genius is how this 10-track offering still feels acoustic with so much happening, even as the acoustic guitar remains the star.

The genius is how this 10-track offering still feels acoustic with so much happening, even as the acoustic guitar remains the star.

While songs range from musing on past relationships, You Showing Up Here, and We Made It Out, they also tackle prickly and difficult topics like social justice on Blessing, as Lori sings: “Yeah, life’s not fair we know/But aren’t we supposed to block the road/When men come to place the load/Heavy on their shoulders?”

Overall, the Chaffer’s are attentive creators who have all but mastered their craft, even as they resist any attempts to lean into more popular musical stylings. But that’s okay. Tandem will remain a gem waiting to be found.

About
Steven Sukkau
Steven Sukkau is a writer, journalist and radio broadcaster living on the Canadian prairies with his wife, two daughters and hyperactive terrier.
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Steven Sukkau
Steven Sukkau is a writer, journalist and radio broadcaster living on the Canadian prairies with his wife, two daughters and hyperactive terrier.