Phantom Limb release the title track from their new album ‘The Pines’ on Monday ahead of the full album release in February next year on Naim Edge. The Pines is an assured, well-studied and heartfelt record, absorbing an array of classic influences. Musically, the songs stand at the crossroads between Country and classic R&B, which – from Ray Charles’ country albums to The Staple Singers fronting The Band – still feels relatively unexplored. Yet as Yolanda succinctly puts it, “Country and gospel are the same, just with different race singers.”
Some stellar musicianship aside, The Pines is arguably held together by the powerful, tender vocals of Yolanda. “My voice was pretty much incongruously massive from a very young age,” she laughs. “I used to sing Aretha Franklin as well as Dolly Parton, but I always had country licks more than soul licks. So I thought, I have to try to find a place for them both, and it took years.” And while it may have taken them their time, The Pines sees Phantom Limb find a space that is very much their own.