In the words of The Reliques, “Music is a shortcut to the soul.”
With each new EP, the folk duo weaves stories that cut straight to our commonplaces, stories each of us have seen played out in our own lives and communities.
Making music gives Sarah Dossey and Sarah Monteen the space to be honest about their life experiences. Says Dossey, “We want to be transparent with our music and write songs that stir hearts. We want to impact our community in Austin, to grow with them and tell their stories.”
Pronounced “relics”, the band grew out of a friendship that began at the University of Texas. The first EP, Peacock Wood, is a five-song introduction to the band’s heartstrings. The songs seamlessly blend Monteen’s strong, smoky voice with Dossey’s nightingale sweet soprano and attests to years honing their timing and musicianship. Following the release, the band was featured on KISS FM-96.7 and The River 102.3, won The River’s Austin Artist Showcase, and have appeared on the front pages of The Daily Texan’s DT Weekend and Austin Christian Family Magazine. In Dec. 2010, they were featured on News 8 Austin’s “Songs of the Season”.
In an April 2009 issue of the Daily Texan’s DT Weekend, editor Francisco Marin, writes:
“These sirens of Texas folk make music spilling over with intimacy and real emotional gravitas…The Reliques’ sound is immediately recognizable: the lilting sound of Dossey’s mandolin over Monteen’s acoustic guitar, overlapping vocals reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, the sparse arrangements chug along, trainlike and persistent.”
Collectively, their musical influences range from Mumford & Sons to Paul Simon and even include such female vocalists as Jewel and the Dixie Chicks. The Reliques have opened for nationally touring acts Shane and Shane, Phil Wickham and Derek Webb. Their live show is where The Reliques really shine, rotating adeptly through several instruments and matching each other’s voices in strong, sure harmonies.
Their newest EP was recorded by Caedmon’s Call’s own Josh Moore. To Feel and Be Loved is a lively jam session featuring a cavalcade of eclectic instruments such as mandolin, banjo and accordion in addition to electric and acoustic guitar. The six songs live up to Dossey and Monteen’s storytelling aspirations. Whether heartbreaking or resounding this new creation is alive with stories which tumble out one after another, wrapping around guitar strings and bursting forth triumphant, raw and gleaming, belted out in waves of carefully constructed lyrics.
Though they are the ones spinning tales on their guitar strings, both girls urge their fans to find their own meanings in the songs – so what was a song of loss can transform into a song of empathy and encouragement. They hope to take that “shortcut to the soul” to “build people up amidst all the realities of life, whether it’s the joy or sorrow of life.”
Says Monteen, “We do music because it’s in our souls and we can’t help but do it. This is what God has put in us— we just hope when the music hits people they are stronger because of it.