CD Review: Divining Rod “Return to Crystal Cove”

Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon are two musicians with rather different backgrounds. Miyuki Furtado had spent time creating some Alternative Rock with the band called The Rogers Sisters, while Patrick Harmon had a background in music that included a Rock and Roll band that created a style referred to as Psych-pop. Together, the duo took their similar styles of music and started creating music under the moniker of Divining Rod.

As Divining Rod, the duo of Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon splits up the musical responsibilities. As the main singer-songwriter, Miyuki Furtado sings and plays the guitar, bass and drums for the duo. At the same time, Patrick Harmon helps to flesh out the music for the duo as he provides the lead guitar/acoustic guitar for each of the tracks that Divining Rod creates. The duo has currently been joined by Mike Malone, John Malone and Eric Kaye as well as others. While Divining Rod has released several singles since they came together as a unit, they are currently celebrating the release of a full length album that album is entitled Return to Crystal Cove   

The new album of Return to Crystal Cove from Divining Rod begins with the track “Hemlock Blues”. The track features a sound that is based around both the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar at the same time. The combination of the two different guitars creates a full sound that seems equally balanced right from the start. The resulting musical combination gives the listener a track that would have been right at home back in the seventies and ends up feeling like something that would have come from some of the more Folk-like musicians from that era. The track also contains a slightly psychedelic feel to that same musical combination while at the same time, containing a very driving feel to the music. Ultimately, because of the folk feel of the song along with the style of the lyrics in the song, the track of “Hemlock Blues” sounds like something from the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young if they would have added a lot more energy to their music.

Divining Rod continues their album with the track “The Deepest Sun”. With this track, Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon change the pace of the album by slowing the music down just a little. The track begins with the sound of picking on guitar strings that produce no music but do produce a strange percussive effect. That percussive effect feels very much like the ticking of the clock. Soon, a simple guitar part adds to that ticking effect to start the building of the music of the track. Eventually, what is produced is a track that feels much like something from the late sixties/early seventies. The Classic Rock feel to the music is mixed together with lyrics about seeing clearly.

The third song of the Return to Crystal Cove album is entitled “Love Come Tumbling”. Much like the track before it, “Love Come Tumbling” contains a slower pace than “Hemlock Blues”. In fact, the two tracks have much the same pacing to the music.  “Love Come Tumbling” features a style that is slightly retro in its nature as the duo creates a track that combines some elements of early Rock and Roll with more recent Indie Rock. The track begins with a rather simple guitar riff and an easy beat of the bass drum. The inclusion of the bass drum and the rest of the drum kit help to give the track that retro feel. The song moves along and includes an instrumental break that brings to mind songs from jam bands like The Grateful Dead. After a while, the vocals from Miyuki Furtado return to help bring the song to a close. The song of “Love Come Tumbling” feels both fresh and retro at the same time. 

With the track “Darling Down the Row,” Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon create a track that contains a sound that feels right at home in today’s musical scene. The track’s Rock and Roll approach takes a generous amount of Rock and Roll flavor, adds some Country twang and some Folk flavor to create a song that is as much Rock and Roll as it is Americana. With its Americana feel, you can still imagine the track being played on today’s Top 40 or Modern Rock stations while also feeling as if it would have been right at home on radio formats in the seventies. Of course, the track has enough of a twang that it would also feel right at home on current Country formats.

The band returns to a more retro feel to their music on the song “Master/Servant Blues”. Much like the earlier track of “Hemlock Blues,” the duo brings back the feel of the music from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The track’s music brings to mind the seventies flavor of the quartet. It also contains a lyrical content that screams the band’s style. Plus, when Furtado and Harmon harmonize on the track, the influence from the quartet is almost undeniable. “Master/Servant Blues” ends up being one of the strongest tracks on the Return to Crystal Cove album from Divining Rod.

The Return to Crystal Cove album continues with the track “The Silver Ship”. Like much of the album, this track has a very retro feel to it. The Lite Rock feel to the music takes the listener back in time to the seventies when lighter Rock and Roll fare was being produced. The easy pace and lighter style to the music on this track would have been perfect for the AM dial back then. The track would have been right at home in the midst of artists such as Steely Dan, Harry Chapin, or Loggins & Messina. In fact this track feels like it was influenced by the band America, putting the track right in the middle of the decade of the seventies, musically.

On the “title track” of the release, Divining Rod picks up the pace and the energy level to create one of the more energetic tracks of the release. “Crystal Cove” is one of the hardest rockin’ tracks of the release. The song contains a strong Rock and Roll guitar feel and a rather unusual time signature that brings to mind the style of the band Devo. With that type of influence, the track contains a sound that would have been right at home on Rock and Roll stations in the eighties.

Return to Crystal Cove, the full-length album from Divining Rod, finds Miyuki Furtado and Patrick Harmon creating tracks that contain many different styles and influences. The twelve-track release puts to good use the various influences the two musicians have picked up over the years. The resulting album changes from track to the next and never lets up.  

To check out the music from Divining Rod, check out the video to the song “The Silver Ship“. 

To find the band’s music on spotify, click on the record cover below: