The Thornbills – “Uncle Andrei” (7″ Vinyl) – Third Man Records

Jim Wiegand III and Tamara Finlay are cousins from Ann Arbor, Michigan. The musical twosome have made music a family affair and released a 7” single, “Uncle Andrei,” on Jack White’s Third Man Records. The crafty cousins harmonize on side A’s “Uncle Andrei,” a folky ode of a boy taken from home and made to wander told over a hypnotic, Eastern European waltzy beat. Finlay leads the song with her intriguing voice, telling the mysterious story of an uncle’s vague abduction.

Side B’s “Square Peg” is a charming tune slightly reminiscent of fellow Michigan musicians, His Name is Alive. Finlay’s vocals are smooth and convincing while bouncing over Wiegand’s simple strumming guitar, punctuated by an occasional wail of a violin. Also, Jack White lends a well-placed kick drum to the track.

The Thornbills have a unique charm that forces you to listen to their ethereal songs. These Michigan cousins have the talent and likeability to become the folk equivalent of the White Stripes. “Uncle Andrei” is a tease that leaves me demanding a full length LP from the Thornbills, with or without White’s kick drum.

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January 7, 2011. Albums.

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