By: Alexandria Chong
Seattle band Vocal Few possesses the most beautiful raw voices I’ve heard in a while. The acoustic folk pop duo consists of husband Matt MacDonald, who also leads The Classic Crime, and his wife Kristie MacDonald. Matt is on vocals, guitar, and keyboard while Kristie is on vocals and piano.
Vocal Few has a rich background story. Kristie had always begged Matt to record songs with her but Matt always changed the subject. Then in March 2011, the couple got the surprise they needed to start their music project: a little line on a pregnancy test. Matt was shocked and thought about how they were going to pay for the baby and Kristie quickly replied, “The EP, of course.” Matt then went to Australia to play with The Classic Crime and realized how at home he felt there. In Australia, they have a saying for when people worry: “She’ll be right, no big deal mate, she’ll be right.” This motto helped Matt manage his stress over how his little girl would survive when both her parents struggled with financing their entire marriage. A light bulb switched on when Matt realized that creating an EP with his wife would ensure that his daughter would be just fine and with that, the She’ll Be Right EP came to life. Inspired by parenthood, the two recorded an amazing collection of four songs. Matt and Kristie became first time parents on December 12, 2011.
The MacDonalds independently released their EP She’ll Be Right on January 10, 2012, without a single dollar spent on promotion or marketing. Nevertheless, the EP debuted on Billboard’s Heatseeker’s Chart at #12, on the Folk Albums Chart at #8, and deemed “New and Noteworthy” by iTunes where it debuted on the Singer/Songwriter Chart at #3. A unique characteristic of their EP is not only their talented lusty voices, but the deep meaning behind their lyrics and the gorgeous melodies they’ve created. These songs make you want to close your eyes and sink into the magic these two produce.
The first song on the EP “We’ll Make It Someday” starts off with beautiful string chords and keyboard. You get a great taste of Matt’s voice early on in the song before Kristie’s voice comes perfectly in sync to tell a story of how they both made it through parenthood together. Lyrics such as, “Through all the wreckage and messes we’ve been through / I’ve been your navigator sitting calmly guiding you through so don’t you take all the credit or the blame / we still got plenty more mistakes to make / I wouldn’t want it any other way,” depict all of the emotional and frightening experiences they’ve lived through as husband and wife for seven years, especially over the past year worrying about the welfare of their daughter. Next is “The Fountain” which is more laid-back and acoustic. Kristie illustrates her talent on piano and Jen Mayer guest stars with a violin to put the finishing touch on a husband and wife serenading each other. The love and dedication between the two are palpable on this track. “Every Second” is much more upbeat with its percussion and guitar. Matt’s voice is in the forefront and controls most of the song while Kristie’s harmonizes in the background. Their voices complement each other and allude to their relationship as husband and wife.
The EP closes out with “Mexico,” which clearly shows us the couple’s struggles and successes. They sing about sleeping in the car because of financial troubles but promising they’ll run away and escape together. Every song on this EP is an extraordinary creation by two people who have really become one. It may seem cliché but Matt and Kristie seem to have gone through a lot including no monetary stability and constantly moving, but they always did it together and they never gave up on each other. That’s what makes this EP so special: its background, its artists, and its signal of the future.
While Matt is currently prepping for The Classic Crime’s next studio album, Vocal Few is just beginning. The couple has been talking about loading up their car and playing a string of shows, so keep on the lookout for tour dates. The band’s website has been clouded with the phrase, “Once in a while, things happen because they make sense,” and for good reason too. A man and his wife making music, inspired by love and their first child just makes sense.