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Scattered Trees - Sympathy Album Cover

Scattered Trees - Sympathy

Reviewed by
8.8
Scattered TreesSympathy
Record Label: Roll Call Records/EMI Records
Release Date: April 5, 2011
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
You’ve read The Perks of Being a Wallflower because you’re you and you’re here. It’s not exactly the most original book to discuss on a site that’s tagline is “Music Mends Broken Hearts.” Which means you are also familiar with the vignette where the touching narrator screams into the night sky, “I feel infinite!” Whether “feeling infinite” is a thing or not is debatable. There are probably times when we did in fact feel, you know, “forever.” But this belief only becomes reality when we are, in fact, “feeling infinite.” After all, it’s hard to believe in such optimism in a dentist’s chair or during a mid-term. But for those few, rare moments when everything is perfect, where everything unfolds just as it does in our imaginations, “Infinity” stops being abstract and becomes a character trait. “Infinity” is what we are at that perfect moment, which, sadly and ironically, never actually lasts forever.

And as I sit here, completely engulfed in Scattered Trees’ breathtaking, harmony-laden folk opus Sympathy, I once again understand what it’s like to be perfectly content with one’s situation. Who knows whether this is me “feeling infinite” or not. But regardless of all this faux-philosophy-cum-outdated-teen-novel, I am completely confident in the understated brilliance of Sympathy.

Penned after the death of lead singer Nate Eiesland’s father, this intricately crafted record brings to mind some of “soft rock’s” finest. “A Conversation About Death On New Year’s Eve” sounds like the best song on Stars’ The Five Ghosts. Standout “Five Minutes” channels Lydia’s Illuminate with its male/female exchanges and fulfilling build-ups. “I Swear To God” uses overt pop harmonies without feeling trite, while its synthesized bridge places a layer of polish over an otherwise rickety album. But even with similarities to existing acts, Scattered Trees create an emotional niche all their own. It’s something you’ve heard before, only never this good.

And yes, as you can guess from its somber inspiration, Sympathy isn’t all cartwheels and picnics. But even in the face of death, there is optimism in Eiseland’s songwriting that makes you want to listen regardless of mood. On “Five Minutes,” he sings, “I was lost / But I was free,” and it’s that sort of turn-it-on-its-head sentiment that makes this an anytime record. Sympathy is heavy without being crushing. Its meaningful yet conversational. And despite certainly being a moody folk record, Sympathy wears a surprising number of hats. On the eventually toe-tapping opener “Bury The Floors,” there is the line, “I wish you could see / You’re doing better than you think.” It’s delivered eloquently over low-pitched hums. And although mostly unassuming, a line like that is exactly what Sympathy is all about. We’re all doing fine. We’re all getting through. We are all better than we think. And maybe if we remember that simple idea, we can always feel infinite, too.


Recommended If You Like: Lydia, Stars, Her Sweet Autumn Misery, Freelance Whales maybe


Please don't let me downwww.myspace.com/scatteredtreesmusic
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 24
08:53 PM on 03/27/11
#2
Blake Solomon
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this comes out a week from tuesday. And it is completely and fully worth your hard-earned lap dance tips or whatever.

pre-orders and stuff here:

www.scatteredtreesmusic.com
09:01 PM on 03/27/11
#3
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
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Sounds like something I'd like.
09:07 PM on 03/27/11
#4
Matthew Tsai
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Yet another great review from Blake! This album is amazing. That short soulful solo in "Love and Leave" gets me every time.
06:19 AM on 03/28/11
#5
Eva Friedman
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This review is perfect. If I hadn't already fallen in love with the album, I definitely would've given it a listen after reading this. Spot on Blake.
07:53 AM on 03/28/11
#6
Lueda Alia
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So happy you liked this enough to review it.
07:53 AM on 03/28/11
#7
Lueda Alia
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Sounds like something I'd like.
Tsk...
08:20 AM on 03/28/11
#8
sjb2k1
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member rating 100% lulz

i'm right on top of this Eda, i didn't forget
09:16 AM on 03/28/11
#9
Lueda Alia
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member rating 100% lulz

i'm right on top of this Eda, i didn't forget
Shhh......
09:21 AM on 03/28/11
AdamChildress
Wondrous Oblivion.
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Will be checking this out.
09:49 AM on 03/28/11
dashboardkid88
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Will have to check this out.
10:15 AM on 03/28/11
Blake Solomon
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So happy you liked this enough to review it.
yeah, i loveeee it. obv.
12:53 PM on 03/28/11
Meeze
PunkOut.org
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fantastic review Blake..the opening paragraph is perfect.
07:12 PM on 03/28/11
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
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03:21 AM on 03/29/11
CheckeredFloors
nah
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Lydia and Stars? This is very relevant to my interests.

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