November 26th, 2013 | Album reviews

Tom Child

White Dove
The Hoss, The Candle
Rsrch + Dvlp

White Dove’s latest release, The Hoss, The Candle, radiates exactly the kind of sedate sepia Americana that hits right at a certain type of brain’s pleasure center and thankfully seems to be thriving in L.A. right now (see the annual New Los Angeles Folk Festival’s lineup for further proof). Think mid-period Cat Power, Mazzy Star, Emily Jane White and a host of other like-minded bands that have been mentioned numerous times in other reviews of this album, which is not to say that this album suffers from a “been there, done that” problem. The songwriting is strong enough to prove the album entirely necessary even as it wears its influences plainly on its sleeve. Lead singer Alex Johnstone’s mellifluous double tracked harmonies swoop smoothly over the gently rocking arrangements that combine country and late 60s folk with a contemporary evocative nostalgic melancholy and the songs contain enough strong melodic turns and rhythmic shifts to avoid the risk of fading into the background as can occasionally happen with albums this plainly gorgeous. Like all the best music, this would sound really good playing on a car stereo on a late night desert drive. It’s a little sad, a little lonely and very lovely and Los Angeles should be proud that a band like White Dove calls it home.
Tom Child