And the Giraffe Ė Creature Collector
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: November 2nd, 2012
A few weeks ago, I noticed I had a band called ďAnd the GiraffeĒ liked on my personal Facebook page. I didnít quite remember liking them, but I donít just like any band page without a reason for it. I went to their page, and they said that they had a new EP coming out in November, so I was immediately anticipated. They had a few of the tracks on Bandcamp that you could buy (and get the rest of the tracks when they come out) as a teaser, or you could just wait until the album released as a ďpay what you wantĒ download. I listened to a bit of a track that was on their Bandcamp, and was certainly hooked. I downloaded it when it was released, and I was a bit disappointed that it was only six songs, but they total to be about 25 minutes, which is quite nice. Itís a very nice length, and overall, a very nice EP.
The band describe themselves as an ďambient dream folkĒ band, and I wasnít too sure what that meant, but after listening to new EP Creature Collector, I definitely figured it out. Their sound is certainly quite unique, and Iíve never really heard a band that sounds like them. I do hear bits of pieces of other bands (well, influences, anyway), but they have a sound all their own, which is quite hard to find in music today, regardless of the genre.
Creature Collector opens with ďFind My Name In the Sun,Ē and this song really sets the stage for what And the Giraffe is really about. It starts off with a folksy riff from what Iím pretty sure is a banjo, and immediately, it has almost a Bon Iver vibe to me, and I like it a lot. The song is pretty quiet, and folksy, which is cool, because I like this kind of stuff a lot. The tempo is quite slow throughout this song, but it doesnít mean itís not good; in fact, itís quite beautiful, really. The first song really does show one where the ďambient dream folkĒ sound comes from. Theyíre certainly ambient, very dreamy, and folksy. Itís all there, and it works quite well. The ambient part comes in at the very end, with a very weird electronic little bit in the last minute of the song that leads right into the next one, ďOf the Moment.Ē This song also starts off quite ambiently, if thatís even a word, and it almost seems like an instrumental track, because the vocals donít kick in for the first minute, and are very scattered throughout. Itís quite clear from the second track that this band have no use for a formula of any kind, which is great, because theyíre quite out there, to be honest. Theyíre nothing like Iíve heard before, and theyíre very interesting. Third track ďSorryĒ is one of my favorite tracks on the EP, because I love the way this song sounds. This is an actual song, rather than just an experimental ambient track, and it really shows what the band is made of, like the first track. Lyrically, this is also my favorite track, because itís all about the singer expressing his apologies to someone for a reason we, as the listeners, are not sure about. There are also some female vocals in this track as well, like a harmony, basically. Itís really cool, and shakes things up a bit. The last minute of this song also has a really weird and experimental instrumental as well, and itís very different from the track was at the end of, but it really works, nonetheless. Itís quite interesting, and it keeps me wanting to listen to more.
As the EP goes on, it falls victim to what I call ďGenericitis,Ē or something to that effect. Itís complicated, though, because as I mentioned earlier, the band has such a unique sound, but this band seems to be following a band like Mumford and Sonsí footsteps. Not in their actual sound, but in the way they make their music. Iím a huge fan of Mumford and Sons, and their new Babel was one of my favorites so far this year, but the problem with that record was how it wasnít different from 2009ís Sigh No More at all. They have a sound of their own, but itís almost like they think they can just make records where donít expand on that sound. The same seems to be going for And the Giraffe. The first few songs are really cool, and really unique, but as you keep going, thereís not that much that changes. I like this EP a lot, donít get me wrong, but it is plagued with a lack of variety. Thereís only so much of the ambient dream folk we take, but thankfully, this EP is very tasteful at 25 minutes, so itís quite forgivable. Fifth track ďTake CareĒ is another track I really like. It doesnít really do anything I havenít heard on the rest of the EP, but it sounds quite interesting, nonetheless. Itís also very short, which is another interesting part, because itís the shortest song on the EP at a bit over 2 minutes. Ironically, last track ďEnough Is EnoughĒ is 6 minutes, and the longest song on the EP. Itís really folksy, and definitely has that dream-pop aspect as well. Itís a nice closing track, and it picks up a bit more about two minutes in. Itís just a really relaxing song, which follows suit with the whole EP, essentially.
Overall, this is a great EP for anyone who is a fan of folk, indie, or experimental music. Thereís a lot to take from this, but the problem is, they do get slightly boring. Not that itís terrible, but thereís not a lot of variation on their sound, as awesome as it is. They suffer from the same thing that Mumford and Sons do, which I mentioned briefly earlier. It works quite nicely on a single release, but having more than a few songs that have the same sound, or having more than a couple albums with this sound is a bit redundant. The thing that makes this a good release is that itís an EP. Itís not too short, but not too long, either. Itís right in the middle, where it should be. I am very excited to see where this band will go next, because they have a sound I definitely get into.
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