Peaceful Beasts In An Ocean Of Weeds

Blessed Feathers

ndependent release, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I knew I was going to love this before I even heard it. Aesthetically, it's perfect. The non-jewel case packaging with eye-catching artwork on a very DIY style cardboard sleeve is ideal. It's actually even hand numbered, like vinyl, giving it that personal feel. And perhaps the best part, the CD itself looks like a slab of wax, almost as if it's a 3” record. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Further investigating into the band brings up other intriguing facts. The pair of musicians, Donivan Berube and Jacquelyn Beaupre, met while working in a Wisconsin restaurant after Berube fled Florida and a religious lifestyle that didn't suit him anymore. Together, they value the simpler aspects of life, shunning the things that most people value in today's technological world. It's actually a bit surprising they even have a website considering neither own computers.

Knowing all this info prior to putting the disc in, I was ready to adore this five song EP, but I also didn’t want to get my expectations outrageously high. Leading off with “By Song Through The Americas,” the band shows they have moved on from their previous sparse sounds with vibrant drumming and sweet vocal melodies that would give The Rosebuds a run for their money. “Holyoke/Springfield” follows, and the pace slows down to let the gentle, lush instrumentation flow in. Though Berube's voice takes focus on the first two tracks, at the mid-point with “Sticky Nettle, Honeysuckle,” Beaupre's angelic pipes take center stage, producing a glorious banjo-driven tune. The banjo continues on with “Hey! All You Floridians,” and it's at this point I'm realizing that Derube very much resembles David Bazan (Pedro The Lion). The EP exits on “Winter Sister,” the most dramatic moment here, where you get both the softest and loudest moments in one compelling song.

You really have to hand it to Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, The Walkmen) for illuminating each instrument here so well. This is incredibly full sounding, the vibraphones, flutes, and banjos working alongside the standard guitars and drums so fluently. As far as EPs go, it doesn't get much better than this. Wisconsin wins again in the area of stellar indie rock.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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