Make Me a Tree
Reviewed by Brian Hanshaw
This album has a little bit of everything, and it has a very indie/alt rock kind of feel to it. It sounds like something you might hear on a college radio station and the band did a very good job in composing and recording this album. Most of the songs featured have sort of an upbeat tempo and they are arranged in a way that makes them very abstract and inventive.
Songs such as “Indian Princess” and “Icicle Valley” have a very mellow, somewhat psychedelic feel and they are almost epic in the sense that they start out slow but then build up to certain parts of the songs with instrument solos and a built-in tempo or melody. The singer’s voice has sort of a soft, shaky, wailing tone reminding me of that of Michael Stipe of REM or Adam Duritz of Counting Crows.
On tracks such as “Astoria” and “Harold”, the vocal accompanist was very good and it gave it a beautiful, harmonious sound. On songs such as “East of the Mountains”, “Spaghetti Western” and “Make Me a Tree”, you can hear the use of organs, harmonicas, violins, etc. This gives the song very spacey, haunting sounds that let the listener fantasize and fall into a calming, dream-like state of mind. On the song “Raccoons”, there is also a clear use of sound effects and digitally-altering of the vocals to give it a reverberated, echo-like sound. I liked the song “Spaghetti Western” because I thought the tempo was quick and catchy, and I liked the use of symbols and the harmonica in the beginning and in the background. The piano was also a nice touch, and the arrangement gave it sort of an epic feel. There is an elaborate guitar solo towards the end that I genuinely enjoyed.
There are many part of Make Me A Tree that I found to be quite innovative as well as enjoyable. The music is very soothing and elaborate and it keeps the listener interested. The singer’s voices are melodic and full of harmony. It is almost like listening to one long, magnificent lullaby. I would definitely recommend giving this album a listen, and enjoying the creative musical elements of The Autumn Electric.