Editor's Rating

Have a listen to: "Pretend" and "One Of A Kind"

Rating out of 10

Giants In The Trees – Self Titled

Digital Release Date: 23rd November 2017
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1318002147

Giants In The Trees will shortly be officially releasing physical copies of their self titled debut album, (pre release physical copies were made available direct from the band earlier this month and the album is available digitally).

Let’s start by getting the obvious out of the way early; yes this is Krist Novoselic’s new band and focus will understandably always fall on a musician who was part of a band that turned the music world on its head the way that Nirvana did, but Giants In The Trees are so much more than their most recognisable member’s new project. This album is appealing on so many levels and is a genuine pleasure for anyone taking the time to to give it a listen.

The line up is completed by Erik Friend, Jillian Raye and Ray Prestegard, and with each being multi instrumentalists, the band’s bio makes for an interesting read. With no direct decisions on how the band should sound, they set about experimenting and having fun, essentially jamming and seeing what they would come up with, and as a result the band have made an album that is both diverse in sound yet entirely distinctive. It would be unfair to try and slot this album into any genre or categorise it as sounding similar to something else; it’s as unique as it is unpredictable.

The album opens with the track ‘Sasquatch‘ which the band released along with a video in late 2017. One thing that becomes immediately apparent is the alluring tone to Jillian Raye’s vocals – musically the track is loaded with melody and an almost pop sensibility in its structure while remaining guitar lead, but the vocals will hypnotise you which allows the music to caress you without becoming the dominant force driving the track. The balance of sound is beautifully haunting and instantly leaves you wanting more.

Centre Of  The Earth‘ kicks off with an accordion and is backed by a bass line and drum beat that will have you tapping your feet to the rhythm, swiftly followed by ‘Seed Song‘ with its lap slide / box guitar and banjo – you can’t help but get lost in the music! Again the vocals here will hook you and drag you in.

Ode To Pacific Anarchism‘ is an almost instrumental track with the odd splash of vocals, and carries hints of Americana/country but remains completely distinctive and its guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a skip in your step.

The In-Between‘ maintains the melody running right through this album and I could wax lyrical on every track here but the beauty of this will be in listening for yourself. ‘System Slave‘ will satisfy with its rhythmic bass lines and drum patterns – it’s spooky, it’s sultry and it’s addictive.

Pretend‘ is a real highlight on the album for me, with its gentle distortion and wistful tone it wouldn’t be out of place in any alternative record collection. There are bands on the scene right now that try to capture the feel of this song but there is always something missing, Giants make it all seem so effortless, it flows so perfectly. ‘Paper Life‘ is a delicious slice of pop music with its gentle guitar licks and banjo, if there is a song that you wanted to be your summer chill out track on this album, then this is the one.

Dark Cloud‘ breaks out the accordion and will have you in a reflective mood with its lyrical content, then half way through you find yourself tapping your feet again as it picks up pace before gently slowing back down into its starting melody. This one gets better each time I listen.

Something For Everyone‘ is an acoustic driven track, sounding like an anthem that doesn’t want to be an anthem, it’s discreet in its nature but stays in your head and has you looking at the things that the band stand for. ‘Moving Targets‘ is the penultimate track and again, showcases the diversity of the band; the melody that’s been present through the whole album remains and I find myself swaying and toe tapping all the way through.

The album closes with ‘One Of A Kind‘, this final track gives us a little taste of all the parts of the album that make it so enjoyable, the melodies, the multi instruments, the addictive vocals, it’s all on display here without going overboard.

This really is an album that has to be heard to fully appreciate what it is, the beauty of it is that it will be interpreted differently by each individual; you’ll find sections and subtle nuances that you love that I may not have mentioned. It’s that good!

I would say that this is an album for anyone who enjoys a little diversity in their music – forget comparisons to anything that’s come before – this is a band that have created a sound all of their own and long may it continue. In a music world filled with records that all sound the same this is the one that refreshes you and I’m sure that if you take the time to listen you will grow to love it.

For all you collectors out there you can purchase a pre release version fully signed from the band’s website giantsinthetrees.com, these are only available until the end of January.

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