It's selfish, sure, but no one wants their favourite musicians to fall in love. Because let's face it—heartbreak, loneliness, despair make for great music. It should sound like the only things keeping them alive are the guitar in their hands, the grit in their voice, and a few well-chosen words.
So how is it that Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland can meet, fall in love, get married, and still make incredible music together? And that's not some eye-rolling “make beautiful music” euphemism, either. With Whitehorse, the two have found a sweet spot between McLelland's folk-pop smarts and Doucet's spaghetti-western swagger, cutting straight to the core of what's made them both darlings of the roots world. Together, their sugar-and-salt harmonies and faultless fretwork seemingly spring straight from some stack of forgotten '45s, channelling Johnny and June with a dash of Link Wray for good measure.
Falling in love is a risk, for sure, and Doucet in particular built his name on heartache—his Broken (And Other Rogue States) is one of the great break-up albums of the last decade. But Whitehorse is proving that it's a risk worth taking; maybe it's time to give up on the notion that artists need to be tortured souls once and for all.