Life partners and musical duo Boyd Meets Girl – Australian guitarist Rupert Boyd and American cellist Laura Metcalf – spent most of 2020 locked down in New York with their baby son, playing music together and, like many of us in these pandemic times, re-evaluating their lives.

Boyd Meets Girl

The result is their second album, Songs of Love and Despair , a worthy follow-up to their eponymous debut on the Sono Luminus label. As before their repertoire is wide and varied, touching on Debussy (their arrangement of Arabesque No 1 , inspired by Helene Grimaud’s playing), Schubert ( Gretchen am Spinnrade ) and Corelli’s Sonata in A alongside Beyoncé’s Pray You Catch Me and Radiohead’s Daydreaming .

Boyd draws on his pop heroes for two Beatles numbers – Blackbird with its classical guitar lick and George Martin’s chamber masterpiece arrangement for Eleanor Rigby .

Australian guitarist-composer Marian Budos wrote the couple...