Why do our ears love three-part harmonies? Afterall, nothing can quiet a room or catch the attention of even the most jaded music aficionado as fast as three voices melding together. Maybe, it’s because, subconsciously, our brains remind our ears just how hard those harmonies are to successfully pull off. Not only does it require a collection of talented artists with complementing voices, but it also requires deft cooperation—an innate musical awareness to make sure the end result is indeed harmonies, instead of simply three artists singing together. On their latest single, “Thank You,” fiddler/singer Lucia Purpura-Pontoniere, guitarist/singer Katie Martucci, and banjoist/singer Caroline Kuhn, collectively known as The Ladles, showcase their mastery of this art.
One of the biggest challenges we see is the ability to capture the magic of three-part harmonies when putting them to tape. When performed live, the vocals are the star. Too often, in the recording studio, instrumentation and production fogs the picture. Thanks to both circumstance and smart production, “Thank You” masterfully captures the true soul of the harmonic experience. When 2020 led to massive pauses in both touring and music production, The Ladles isolated themselves in a three-week summer residency in the quaint little town of Springville, New York. The creative energy from that time was bottled into their upcoming album, The Springville Sessions.
With the song’s creation during the uncertain times of 2020, and now released in the hopefulness that 2021 has brought, it is no wonder that it has a deep meaning for the band and their connection to the world. “’Thank You’ is a song of gratitude for one’s community. It was written after going through a difficult time – often when we are going through something, it can feel as if we are alone. But this song is the moment of recognizing all the people in your life that support you and carry you through, be it a close family member or someone who pays for your food ahead of you in line – small and large acts of kindness and love between humans,” Lucia Purpura-Pontoniere shares.
The song feels like a spontaneous flow of appreciation. Musically, it’s well balanced—a gentle current of banjo keeps the song minimal behind the vocals, but lush fiddle and acoustic guitar builds throughout. A comparison to songs by I’m With Her is apt, yet almost too obvious. Thanks to The Ladles’ ability to keep the vocals in the spotlight, the harmonies of Mountain Man also quickly spring to mind while listening to the track. However, Lucia Purpura-Pontoniere, Katie Martucci, and Caroline Kuhn combine for the distinct sound that belongs to The Ladles.
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew is proud to present the exclusive premiere of “Thank You” from The Ladles. You can show your thanks to these talented artists by following them on social media and spreading the word about their upcoming album, The Springville Sessions.