In the Press
“The duo’s vocal interplay is spellbinding” ****½ – Francois Marchand, Vancouver Sun
The story of Vancouver’s The Reckoners, Christina Simpson and Ricardo Khayatte, is a love story. The two met during a retreat a few years back and it was love at first sight. …And the Sky Opened Up, the duo’s debut, is love at first listen. The duo’s vocal interplay is spellbinding and the folk/country melodies feel breezy and effortless, bouyed by road-weary wisdom and propelled by the strength of the pair’s bond. This may only be a six-song offering, but listen to the shuffle-y Heartbreaker or the back porch worthy The Wanderer and you will hear a true, stripped-down gem hinting at a very bright future.
- Francois Marchand, Vancouver Sun
“Instantly Memorable” – John Sakamoto, Toronto Star
A variation on the Black Cab Sessions, for which an act climbs into the back of a taxi and performs while the vehicle drives around London, Vancouver’s Green Couch Sessions feature an act sitting on said piece of furniture and singing one song, in one take. This preview of the follow-up to this duo’s . . . And the Sky Opened Up EP features no more than a guitar, an accordion, and the perfectly matched voices of Christina Simpson and Ricardo Khayatte. It needs nothing else.
- John Sakamoto, Toronto Star
“Sweet Vocal Harmonies” – Kerry Doole, Exclaim Magazine
There must be something in the BC air that spawns sweet vocal harmonies. To the likes of harmony-driven groups like the Blue Shadows and the Be Good Tanyas, you can now add the Reckoners. Based on this debut six-song EP, the Vancouver, BC-based folk duo have the potential to take a place alongside those greats. Featuring Berklee graduate and TV composer Ricardo Khayatte and Christina Simpson, their voices fuse together so well it’s hard to imagine they’ve only been singing together for two years. The songs ? all written by Khayatte ? are nicely fleshed out with bass, drums, lap steel and guitar. They’re all on the gently contemplative side, and the imaginative lyrics of a number like “Eye For An Eye” (“I wish I was raised by wolvers”) also catch the ear. The inclusion of at least one track with a more energetic tempo would have been welcome, but we can certainly hope there’ll be a full-length disc from the Reckoners before too long.
- Kerry Doole, Exclaim Magazine
“Enslaved by the Plaintive Beauty of These Two Voices” - Bruce Leperre, ****½ STARS – WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
The backstory of Vancouver based indie folk-pop duo The Reckoners reads a bit like a fairy tale. Ricardo Khayatte (vocals, guitar) and Christina Simpson (vocals) met at a cabin in the woods when invited out by a mutual friend for a ski weekend. The two hit it off and this EP is the fruit of that fateful meeting.
From the moment you hear Eye for an Eye one is immediately willingly enslaved by the plaintive beauty of these two voices. Whether it’s the stark mournfulness of the carefully crafted balladSomethings, the catchy loping melody and honesty of Too Tough to Love, Timothy Tweedale’s haunting lap steel guitar on the country leaning Heartbreaker or the animated banjo-like guitar that propels The Wanderer, the exceptional musicianship and duo’s exquisite harmonies are treated respectfully with production that knows where to draw the line.
If there is one complaint, it’s that six songs barely whets one’s appetite
- Bruce Leperre, Winnipeg Free Press