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The Burnt Pines (from the album Don’t Look Down available on Adraela Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
A Portuguese trio that’s uncommonly adept at sharing exquisite spot-on harmonies and exceedingly effusive melodies, The Burnt Pines — Danish-born singer and lyricist, Kris Skovmand, songwriter, instrumentalist,, and arranger Aaron Flanders on guitar and banjo along with Portuguese-born keyboard player and arranger Miguel Sá Pessoa, with assistance from Fernando Huergo on 5-string electric bass, Luis Barros on drums and percussion, and Dan Fox on upright bass — share an illuminating Folk-Pop sound that’s enticing and exhilarating in equal measure. Naturally, with his recent passing the late David Crosby is on most music lovers’ minds these days, so it’s no coincidence that certain songs — the title track, “Pushing On”, “In from the Outside”, and “What Did You Come Back For” — recall the upbeat optimism of CSN’s more winsome melodies. The scat singing on the inexplicably titled “The Ghost Living in My Beer” is especially reminiscent of that ensemble’s Crosby-penned material. Simply stated, the comparisons are all but unavoidable.
Still, that’s not to take away anything from The Burnt Pines’ own seamless arrangements and delicate designs. Don’t Look Down is an album that can be easily enjoyed on its own terms.
So too, the fact that this is the group’s initial venture and it was recorded in studios well over 3,000 miles apart, speaks to their obvious mutual affinity for the music and their mission. Moreover, the album conveys a positive perspective and a natural sense of overt optimism, as shared through the airy, ethereal melodies. There’s not a single song here that fails to convey unerring beauty and delicacy, a sound summed up in the title of one especially radiant entry, “Your Magic Is to Blame”, as well the exceedingly light, lithe, and equally aptly titled “Welcome Home!”.
It’s hard to imagine that any band could emerge with an album this fully formed. That makes The Burnt Pines’ debut all the more remarkable. Of course, it naturally raises expectations for whatever may follow. Nevertheless, the radiant qualities The Burnt Pines provide this first time around ought to ensure that those embers remain well-lit for some time to come. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of The Burnt Pines from AMAZON
For more information head on over to The Burnt Pines website
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