11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Although Paths We Have Worn is Frances England’s first album aimed at adults, the San Francisco–based singer/songwriter brings much of what she’s learned from making children’s music into the process. The arrangements are often simple, with little more than England’s guitar and Jane Scarpantoni’s cello bringing the songs into focus. Son Lux’s Ryan Lott and Cat Martino (Sufjan Stevens, The Shins) also contribute, while Dean Jones produces at his straw-bale studio in Woodstock, N.Y. Stevens’ influence can be heard in the banjo arrangement guiding “Sweet Bye & Bye,” but it’s England’s earnest vocal that puts the song across. Where many young, modern female singers lapse into coy cuteness with breathy vocals, England stays on track, giving songs like the title track, “Good Friends,” “On Our Way," and “Light Brings Color” an emotional resonance that’s true to the material. The light shuffle of “Since It’s Been You & Me” has a breezy innocence that recalls Jonathan Richman in his prime. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Although Paths We Have Worn is Frances England’s first album aimed at adults, the San Francisco–based singer/songwriter brings much of what she’s learned from making children’s music into the process. The arrangements are often simple, with little more than England’s guitar and Jane Scarpantoni’s cello bringing the songs into focus. Son Lux’s Ryan Lott and Cat Martino (Sufjan Stevens, The Shins) also contribute, while Dean Jones produces at his straw-bale studio in Woodstock, N.Y. Stevens’ influence can be heard in the banjo arrangement guiding “Sweet Bye & Bye,” but it’s England’s earnest vocal that puts the song across. Where many young, modern female singers lapse into coy cuteness with breathy vocals, England stays on track, giving songs like the title track, “Good Friends,” “On Our Way," and “Light Brings Color” an emotional resonance that’s true to the material. The light shuffle of “Since It’s Been You & Me” has a breezy innocence that recalls Jonathan Richman in his prime. 

TITLE TIME
3:13
3:35
3:17
3:43
3:08
2:14
4:16
3:17
4:07
2:45
3:40

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