Despite their violent name, The Civil Wars have disbanded in an amiable way. They haven’t made an album since 2012, and so the news was not especially shocking to the music world. The only one not expecting it, of course, was one particular blogger with a name that starts with B and rhymes with daily. And so, I must commemorate them with one final blog post, professing my undying love for all things Civil Wars (although, notably, not all things “civil” or “wars”).
If you think you’ve never listened to The Civil Wars, then make sure that you haven’t listened to The Hunger Games soundtrack. They have a beautiful little ditty called “Kingdom Come” on that record, and they collaborate with She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Lest-She-Write-A-New-Song (AKA Taylor Swift) on “Safe and Sound.”
If you’re absolutely sure you’ve never heard The Civil Wars after that, then allow me to fill in some of the gaps between your ears. The Civil Wars are a duo, made up of one woman and one man. I would largely call their songs hauntingly beautiful, but they do have some upbeat ballads that challenge that description.
Joy Williams (the woman) is a singer after my own alto heart because in most of their songs, Williams’ voices scrapes the bottom of the barrel whereas John Paul White’s (the man) voice reaches higher than most girls I know. In my mind, and probably most others, they have truly changed how I feel about what a duet can do. (Given that my favorite duet will always, always be Satine and Christian in Moulin Rouge.)
The Civil Wars are considered to be an Indie band, and maybe a little hipster because they do not have much airtime on the radio (and if they are hipster and that’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right), but they have enjoyed a fair amount of success and a large fan base throughout the years.
While I am deeply saddened about the duo’s departure from music, I must say that I am impressed by their incredibly classy exit. They did not squabble or fight through the tabloids. They simply offered one last song, a few closing comments, and undeniable gratitude for their fans.
Civil Wars, thank you for countless hours of singing along in the car and dancing in my seat at the library. You are the perfect choice for studying music that won’t put me to sleep in the process. (I’m looking at you, The XX.) You have put folksy duets on the map, and I for one could not be happier about that.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Civil Wars songs:
Goodnight and goodbye to good music.