Husband-and-wife duo Heather and Nic Dillon, aka You and Yourn, reveal a natural intimacy with It Would Make Things Worse. Nic's rich, dark vocals (sounding somewhat like José González) are balanced by Heather's breathy harmonies, making each tune sound like a conversation between the pair. It's the type of album that begs for multiple listens on a rainy afternoon.
Comparisons to groups like Iron and Wine are tempting, though subtle differences abound. While many indie-folksters have mastered the self-indulgent lament, You and Yourn moves that introspective, confessional tone outward, commenting quietly on society and its ills. The title track mourns our reliance on cheating and lying, while "Blackwater" suggests, "The burdens we share are whispers on freight trains, nobody hears them and fewer still care."
While the duo's lyrics explore dreary subject matter, and all but one song is in a minor key, the album remains surprisingly uplifting. The variety of subtle, creative instrumentation—think sleigh bells, banjo or mysterious clicks and drones—sprinkled sparingly atop piano and acoustic guitar, weave a gossamer-thin net of sound. This refreshingly lo-fi, home-recorded album is a quiet treat, and, despite its title, giving a listen would certainly make things better, not worse.
You and Yourn play the Zootown Arts Center Wednesday, April 14, at 8 PM with Gay Duo, The Keys Knees, Majestic Steed and The Infernal Machine. $5.