The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss, the second album from husband-wife duo Whitehorse, demonstrates how much of a difference prior experience can make. Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland complement each other wonderfully, and contrast between slower-paced melodies describing love and attraction with distinctly more upbeat tunes of romantic loss and despair.
The album starts off with the unruffled track “Achilles’ Desire,” in which Doucet introduces himself first before soon being accompanied by McClelland. There is a clear chemistry between the two that is translated into their lyrics and adds meaning to the song as a whole. Transitioning into “Mismatched Eyes (Boat Song)” brings a certain sense of calm, as the pace of the melody is decidedly slower. McClelland and Doucet sing to each other in a conversational style before harmonizing every once in a while to the steady beat of the guitar in the background, and it’s easy to see why the two added the words “Boat Song” to the name of the track, as its soothing rhythm would match the steady sail of a boat along still water perfectly.
Doucet and McClelland show the country side of their music in “Peterbilt Coalmine” before changing things up in the somber “Cold July.” The penultimate “Wisconsin” certainly has much more of a political edge to it, and can be interpreted as being a criticism of certain people’s closed-mindedness when it comes to religion and science, as well as Wisconsin’s fondness for alcohol. Starting off aggressively and finishing just as strongly, The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss is a perfect example of what Whitehorse is all about, and defines a group that I would unquestionably be excited to hear more from in the future.
In A Word: Complementary