The inexorable rise of soft rock continues apace with the fourth album from American sisters Catherine and Allison Pierce. The odd little edges of their folk-pop have been smoothed off in the transition to a major label, surfacing only occasionally – as on Love You More, which somehow mixes backwoods gothic with an expensive-sounding studio sheen without sounding forced – but they don't seem to have suffered from the process. That's because of the uniformly high quality of the songwriting: You & I is packed with potential Radio 2 staples – the 60s-inflected Glorious, the opening pair of You'll Be Mine and It Will Not Be Forgotten. There's intimacy here, too: I Put Your Records On is a deceptively barbed account of trying to work out if a musician boyfriend is constant by listening to his records. It's sad and lovely, and proves the Pierces handle delicacy as well as they do drivetime.
The Pierces: You & I – review
Michael Hann is a freelance writer, and former music editor of the Guardian