Tree Bursts In Snow
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Scottish indie-folk band Admiral Fallow release their sophomore album and Nettwerk debut Tree Bursts In Snow. The five-piece band have been on a seemingly unstoppable mission to capture the hearts and minds of listeners everywhere with beautiful melodies, sumptuous orchestration and bittersweet boy/girl vocals. They released their debut Boots Met My Face in 2011, which the BBC called "devastatingly downtrodden and wonderfully uplifting. . . surprising and enthralling. . . finely crafted material played superbly well. Now, with the release of Tree Bursts In Snow produced and mixed at Glasgow's famous Chem 19 studios by Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub), and mastered by Greg Calbi (Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, The National) at Sterling Sound in NYC the five-piece is ready to take the next step: from the recommended column of several critics reviews and into the hearts of the wider public.
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Oddly enough, one of their songs, Brother, reminds me of the 80's song 'Come on Eileen' by Dexy's Midnight Runners' but with the top 40's vibe stripped away. Don't hold that against it, ok?
Songwriter Louis Abbott explained that the name of the album comes from the imagery of "an artillery shell exploding into a cluster of snow drenched trees." It's a perfect way to sum up the album. It is quiet and beautiful, but occasionally interrupted with intensity. The album works best when it is active and chugging along, and Admrial Fallows' lead single "The Paper Trench" is a prime example of this. Most of the TREE BURSTS IN SNOW is marked by midtempo moody tracks. The woodwind instrumentation, particularly clarinets and flutes, do well to add to the timbre of the band's sound. Sarah Hayes receives a few moments to harmonize and compliment Abbott, prominently on "Tree Bursts." Other tracks, like "Beetle in the Box," works well as a kind of harmony/duet. If this all sounds esoteric, the music here comes across as very accessible. The concluding track "Oh, Oscar" is a heartbreaking ballad that sets the album off on just the right note.
Fans of the Scotland's indie music scene (Twilight Sad, Frightened Rabbits, My Latest Novel, et al.) will enjoy Admiral Fallows' sophomore album. Highlights of the album include: "The Paper Trench," "Isn't This World Enough??" "Beetle in the Box" and "Guest of the Government." These songs are worthy of sampling/download to give the listener an idea of what to expect from TREE BURSTS IN SNOW.
Additional release info: This review covers the standard international release of TREE BURSTS IN SNOW. There exists another edition that contains two bonus tracks: "Party Fears Two" and "Gypsy Girl." These two songs are solid, and, if you enjoy this album, well worth a download.