The Denver-based acoustic duo LVDY (pronounced “lady”) show what beautiful sounds two women and a guitar can make on their full-length album, Gold. In 11 songs, Kathleen Hooper and Aubrey Mable give us tight harmonies, the sway of natural acoustic pop refrains and a warm folk ambience.
The first track on the album, “Running Wild,” features dreamy vocal harmonies and long spaces of acoustic instrumental music which allow the dual voices to breathe, sinking into our ears. LVDY’s harmonies are the main attraction throughout, sweeping in the same way a string section can in an orchestra.
In “Change,” Hooper and Mable push the roles of their ensemble, using vowels and background lyrics to convey other instruments. The “oo’s” feel like electric guitars, while the (actual) acoustic guitar plays a percussive counter melody, and in the background, a “we want a change” chant sounds like yet another rhythmic guitar groove. “Change” showcases the creative ways these women use their sparse instrumentation to create full sounds.
When they do offer other instruments, such as the sprinkles of piano and strings in “Gold” and “Magic Maker,” they do so in small increments so as to compliment, and not distract, from their minimalist aesthetic.
When those other instruments are added, their music leans in the direction of 90’s femme acoustic singer-songwriters such as Aimee Mann, Natalie Imbruglia, the Indigo Girls or others you might have discovered at Lilith Fair. But regardless of instrumentation, LVDY’s Hooper and Mable maintain a traditional folk pop sound, highlighting the two of them as musicians and songwriters.