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Album Review

Musical marriages of real-life married couples can be a tricky thing — the road is littered with the artistic and romantic casualties of husband-and-wife teams who tried to make the shift from domestic bliss to a shared sonic identity. Whitehorse, however — a duo consisting of married Canadian singer/songwriters Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland — seem to have beaten the odds. Their self-titled debut record manages to amplify the musical personalities of both artists successfully. McClelland and Doucet had each been tending their own solo careers for a decade or so before starting Whitehorse, and both artists had been making their own inroads on the Canadian roots music scene, but these tracks find them crafting a more forceful, visceral sound together. Not counting the brief sonic experiments that bookend the record, McClelland and Doucet offer up new versions of both the former's "Passenger 24" and the latter's "Broken," as well as three new songs and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" that lends the Boss' Born in the U.S.A. tune a bit of a Sun Records-era Johnny Cash feel. While both Doucet and McClelland have shifted back and forth from low-key, contemplative tunes to arch, angular productions on their own releases, the focus for Whitehorse seems to be a swampy, bluesy brand of roots rock, with a side order of alt-country/Americana thrown in for extra flavor. For another pair of troubadours, this might be a less successful move, but as they've both shown in the past, McClelland and Doucet both have strong enough songwriting chops to make their stylistic shifts feel like more than mere genre exercises. ~ J. Allen, Rovi

Customer Reviews


Just saw them live and they were awesome! Barenaked Ladies used them to open up.

Check them out!

Also saw them opening for BNL. They were fantastic live. Had heard them before on The Vinyl Cafe radio show. Outstanding duo with powerful vocals and wonderful songwriting.


Formed: 2011 in Hamilton, Ontario

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '10s

Whitehorse is a collaboration between veteran Canadian singer/songwriters Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet. Both prior to and after their marriage in 2006, the two artists maintained successful solo careers, but by 2011 had decided to pursue a new band together. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, they released their self-titled debut on Six Shooter Records in 2011. A fiery mix of Southern-inspired Americana and atmospheric rock, the album set the tone for their highly acclaimed second album, 2012's The...
Full Bio
Whitehorse, Whitehorse
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