The War and Treaty – Healing Tide (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 45:26 minutes | 505 MB | Genre: Soul, RnB, Blues
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover | © Strong World Entertainment
It’s not surprising that The War and Treaty, a married duo comprised of Michael and Tanya Trotter, have received comparisons to Ike and Tina Turner. There are a couple of hard-charging, rock and soul originals on the Trotter’s upcoming album, Healing Tide, that recall the dueling vigor of the music the Turners made together. But while Tina Turner’s revelations have made us hear the volatility of her relationship with Ike in the musical heat they generated, the Trotters’ songs “All I Wanna Do” and “Healing Tide” convey an ecstatic, empowering sense of partnership that serves as the duo’s creative engine and core message.
Even though The War and Treaty is still a rising act in the Americana field, and seemed to arrive on the national scene almost out of nowhere just a couple of years back, the Trotters are hardly neophytes. Separately and together, they’ve tried on numerous stylistic identities and artistic approaches. Long before she met Michael, Tanya (nee Blount) dueted with Lauryn Hill in Sister Act 2 and recorded sultry, mid-’90s R&B slow jams in a Toni Braxton vein. Michael sang in church, and during a tour of duty in Iraq, was dealt the singular sacred duty of paying tribute to fallen comrades in song, before striking out as a smoothly seductive R&B singer-songwriter, citing influences like Gerald Levert and Tyrese. After teaming up in life and music, the pair dabbled in sleek soul updates under their combined surnames. But they also drew inspiration from voices embraced as touchstones across generations and genres — Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash and Nina Simone among them — and ultimately settled into a rootsy aesthetic animated by the range of their musical experiences.
Both Tanya and Michael take turns venturing out on emotional limbs on Healing Tide, produced with the sympathetic touch of Buddy Miller. Voicing needs and longings in a tone simultaneously ardent and tentative, they make the risks of mutuality felt. In “Are You Ready To Love Me,” a strutting country-soul number laced with horns and pedal steel, she pleads for physical affection and promises eager attentiveness as a lover, building to her insistent delivery of the question posed in the title. He sings the first half of “If It’s In Your Heart” as though he’s summoning the courage to press his lover for honesty and find out whether or not the intensity of her devotion equals his own.
During the loping string band number “Here Is Where the Loving Is At,” which features harmonies from Emmylou Harris, the Trotters paint a picture of lasting partnership as an earthy, effortful endeavor. “Just hold me to the words I say,” Tanya implores, attacking the start of the next line with a teasingly determined growl. “And don’t go looking somewhere else instead.” Throughout “Hearts,” a gospelly piano ballad in 6/8 time, the couple swap grand declarations of the bleakness they’d face without each other’s company. They turn fierce when they declare their shared conviction during the bridge: “We’ve got a reason to keep our love growing strong / Everything between us helps us move along.” Then their belting softens into an intimate murmur of shared belief: “We’d find each other’s hearts.”
01. Love Like There’s No Tomorrow
02. Healing Tide
03. Are You Ready to Love Me?
05. Jeep Cherokee Laredo
06. One and the Same
07. If It’s in Your Heart
08. Here is Where the Loving is at (feat. Emmylou Harris)
09. All I Wanna Do
10. It’s Not over Yet
11. Little New Bern