Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tree - Splitting Branches

by zane prater

Once upon a time I was part of a huge Brooklyn-based indie music site's team. Brooklyn + indie + writing = uuh. I worked hard to get there, just to basically get kicked out after a spell shorter than the time used to get in. It was devastating to be punished for not liking mediocre music. There were too many bands and artists sounding unsurprising, and I was looking for something that was fresh and exciting. Acts which made finding and listening to new music all worth it. If given the time I would have written about those few acts I fell in love with and provide them with way more deserved exposure than I'm able with my own blog.

But always look at the bright side, they say. 

I've found many positives after this experience. First of all it's more fun to write, when you follow your own rules and most importantly write about stuff that you sincerely like. There's no one breathing into your neck and the clock isn't ticking. Secondly, like I said already I'm not able to give as much as exposure, but I'm able to give even more devotion. The music I write about more than once is not something that I just quickly need to come up with some kind words for to kiss ass or look up what words other music sites have used about the "hottest new music at the moment". And after meeting the strict deadline, completely forget about it and move onto the next relevant thing.

Before you start thinking that I'm delving in some sort of self-pity, the final positive out of all this was when my email was graced by San Francisco- based producer Tree's music. Then when I take it a bit further, without hearing his stuff I would have never come across with so many other brilliant artists Tree is buddies with. But about Tree aka Oliver Nickell himself, he's one of the very first acts I've featured on this blog and for over a year now I've been waiting when I could interview him. It's not now, but soon. This is what happens when you get a record deal- the folks over there want to make sure things are planned well and that the young artist is ready and not turning into a douche.

Before Tree's debut EP is released very soon, he treated his fans with a compilation of tracks he had worked on the year and a half earlier when he was 17 and 18. I was kind of disappointed to see that one of my favorite tracks Stuck Down The Wrong Rabbit Hole wasn't part of the compilation, and thought it couldn't be absolutely amazing. Splitting Branches is only amazing.

Even if my favorite isn't there, I've gotten myself hooked with other gems like tully and Sacred Elements. I think it's safe to say that Splitting Branches is in a very non-offensive way a radio friendly compilation with a radness in it, which radio friendly music drools over. 

It works perfectly as a whole, which is an important factor for me when listening to an album. It's not about having a couple of hits nor is it about having all songs be hits. It's about building the record in a way, which keeps the listener interested from the beginning to the end. Taking them to an ear spa.

Listen to Splitting Branches below and download it for free here.

ps. nickell sings in the song revival "i'm angry and bloody like a bitch on her period", some might get offended, but that line is actually pretty funny. especially when you imagine it being said in a british accent. 
pps. this post might have been more about the cons of writing for a music site. i'd like to think it as a long introduction to the review itself. 

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