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Trees: Trees

This stripped-down album took me by surprise, probably because the music was both so raw and so simple. These certainly aren’t bad qualities, but they do stand out when so many of the new releases I hear are really heavy. I can’t remember the last time I heard an album like this. The band draws heavily on the folk rock style of The Byrds, Neil Young, and The Band, but they also draw inspiration from the woods of eastern Finland. The result is a melancholy�"and sometimes really dark�"collection of songs. We’re all familiar with the ways Scandinavian Black Metal looks to the woods for inspiration. Now we’re discovering just what else those woods can inspire.

On the whole, the music here is well-written and the songs are engaging. The compositions are written by singer-songwriter Santeri Vanttinen and they are all recorded live in the studio. I was impressed with the songwriting, but I think casual listeners will find the less-than-polished vocals slightly grating. Don’t get me wrong, the vocals suit the music, but they have that yearning, quavering, quality that some listeners may not enjoy. If you already like singers like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, you should find the vocals familiar. Of all the tracks, I liked “Out in the Open” and “Waltz” and “Like a Tombstone” the most.

As I noted at the start, this is a surprising album, one that many listeners will find haunting and interesting and strange and exciting. There’s nothing quite like it out there right now. In that light, it may certainly be worth checking out, especially for those longing for an extra melancholy take on classic folk rock. It’s not for everyone, but many of the surprises here are worth experiencing.

Track Listing:
1. Lovers
2. Tomorrow Decides
3. Scarlet Letters
4. Like a Tombstone
5. Wherever You May Be
6. Indian Summer
7. Waltz
8. Out in the Open
9. Forest
10. A New Day

Added: February 2nd 2019
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Label Page
Hits: 833
Language: english

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