With eyes closed, listen to the lingering folk-pop harmonies during the Sunflower Thieves’ single “Two Halves” and you will soon understand the true meaning of hope springs eternal. The story behind the song concerns a close friend who lost her memory following a tragic accident and the great pain and effort in rekindling that relationship. But the Sunflower Thieves’ music is as compelling as the band’s message. Meanwhile, there is always more.
A beautiful wispy melody, the intro to “Two Halves” begins with gentle strumming aided by soft synth textures, adding atmosphere and a certain style. Faint bass notes provide the pulse as sensitive vocal work emerges from the mix. The overall sound is inviting, pensive and retains that personalized singer-songwriter touch. Melancholy lyrics reveal the heartfelt frustration and pain of being unable to connect, despite reaching out through the hurt. The line, “And I’ve been thinking, did I really know you at all?” reveals the dismay of the circumstances.
With spot-on production, at 1:08 the drums kick in signaling an emphatic beat and the next phase of the recording. Undoubtedly, the Sunflower Thieves are about hopefulness, perhaps best expressed in the simple words, “I wanna be a friend to you.” “Two Halves” clearly speaks to the frailties of the human condition, which is what the Sunflower Thieves are so good at. Though comparisons have been made to bands like First Aid Kit, The Staves and Wake Owl, the Thieves bring a distinctive reflection to both mood and composition.
Released as an electric cut complete with band accompaniment, the acoustic version of “Two Halves” also provides connection and inspiration, especially shown in the accompanying videos. While plugged in to a Fender® Strat, the “(Live at Prospect Studios)” video reveals a larger hall sound, allowing the music to expand and fill the sonic space. The Thieves’ acoustic “Two Halves” performance as a duo at The Beat for BBC Music is direct, honest and angelic.
Meet the Band
The musicians on “Two Halves” are Amy Illingworth – vocals, synth; Lily Sturt-Bolshaw – vocals, electric guitar; Jamie Clarke – bass guitar; and Tom Girling – drums.
“Two Halves” was recorded, mixed and produced by Lily Sturt-Bolshaw and mastered by Mount Street Studios. The artwork was created by Adam Illingworth, with photography by Lucy Beth Photography. “Two Halves” was written by Lily Sturt-Bolshaw and Amy Illingworth.
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