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Villages (from the album Dark Island available on Sonic/Factor Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Like Fleet Foxes, Watchhouse, and Devendra Banhart, Villages share an obvious affection for Folk music of an alternative distinction. Dark Island, the Canadian combo’s sophomore set, regales in vivid aural imagery, captured through a defining sound and the iconic imagery of their indigenous environs. It’s both haunting and harrowing, flush with tones and textures that capture the rich reservoir of the authentic sounds which originated in Nova Scotia and extend along Cape Breton Island’s rugged coastline.
Consequently, the band deserve credit for sharing their euphoric gaze, one that revels in atmospheric ambiance and mesmerizing melodies. The anthemic approach taken on a song like “Dawnless Nights” becomes both captivating and compelling, resulting a slow build that steadily ascends with an expansive upward gaze. Other tracks — the cheery “Wearing Through the Pine”, the punchy “Love Will Live On”, and the seemingly Pop perfect “Easy When You Know How” — may take a more measured stance, but remain equally emphatic nevertheless. And while there are ample hints of a Celtic influence etched in these grooves, the results are more engaging and embracing than any singular style might suggest. Villages reflect an obvious enthusiasm, evidenced in their whoops, hollers and a soaring sound that resonates and ricochets through each and every entry.
In that regard, the band also take stock in their series of relentless refrains and an eager enthusiasm that’s so convincing and compelling it’s all but impossible not to get caught up in that drive and dutiful devotion. In that regard, songs like “Lost Again”, “Play the Fiddle All Night”, “Pink & Grey”, and “Willow” in particular are nothing less than riveting and robust examples of Villages’ command and assurance. Assertive and engaging, Dark Island is, at very least, a highly desirable destination. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Villages from AMAZON
For more information head on over to the Villages website
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