Tuesday, December 30, 2008

IndieMonday.com Music Review - Big Tree

Morgan's band Big Tree is the featured artist this week on the IndieMonday.com web site!

It looks like the web site does not archive its reviews so I have included the write-up and the link to the song below.

Big Tree: Marshall Field
[Click here to download MP3]

Songwriting is a violent process. It’s an aggressive effort at least – to beat sense into experience. Words are the hardest part. They are the incarnation. The feeling conquered and retrieved from abstraction. A solid snatched from gases.

Big Tree is a band that wrestles with such precious particles in life. Every idea involves a struggle – the process of explaining virtually unexplainable moments or concepts.

“It’s like those unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo, you know, ‘The Prisoners,’” bassist Luke Bace explains. “You have to pull your project out of the world of forms.”

A marvelous idea, very difficult to do. For Big Tree this involves a lot of playing.

“We’ve come to the conclusion, sometimes, that we shouldn’t talk while we write music. We just play, exploring the songs together. It’s very difficult to talk about music.”

Even though there’s not much being said, progress is still being made. There is a bond between members that is organic and sinuous.

“These are four of the greatest musicians I know,” Luke said. “They really pull me up. We’re always pulling each other up on a musical level.”

This track, “Marshall Field”, is a particularly tender song. The harmonies are heart breaking. The acoustics are bare, natural, almost skeletal. The listener gets the feeling they are sitting in on a special conversation.

“In ways, Marshall Field is a stand alone song on the album,” Luke said. “It was recorded out on my porch in July – kind of an Animal Collective feel. You can even hear birds at the beginning.”

“Marshall Field” is a personal song. But the band invites other’s interpretations.

“It’s about a building on campus at our school,” Luke said. “It’s a spot we all know very well. Much of the song is a sensory exploration of that area. A lot of the songs on the album are love songs, in one way or another. This is a love song for a physical place.”

The words drip and slide from verse to verse, but the nostalgia is ubiquitous. “Brand new faces, or so they seem / Oh, I know you so, so well / I could not forget your smell.” It is something we all know, that way that places stick with you. Sometimes they are as alive as people.

“The recording was only the second take,” Luke said “During the second verse it started raining. It was so exciting. You can even hear the sound of Kaila, our singer and keyboardist, smiling. Truly amazing.”

Wonder is what comes out of this curious group. Wonder. Big hearted wonder. The immediacy of beauty. The feeling of the blindfold coming off. Big Tree reminds us that the world is ready for experiencing. -JM

*Big Tree plans to tour New England in March, further promoting the recent self-titled release album.

[Click here to download the MP3]

[Click here to visit Big Tree's Website]

IndieMonday 12.29.08

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