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Delay Trees

Delay Trees

(Johanna Kustannus; US: 29 Sep 2010; UK: 29 Sep 2010)

Delay Trees aren’t afraid to go big—we’re talking U2 big. Guitars shimmer and stretch, cymbals ripple outward, vocals echo just enough to give them some size. It’s an ambitious sound they crank out on their debut full-length, but it’s also a welcoming, approachable sound. Where the Edge keeps you at a distance with his sonic wall, these guys welcome you in. There’s space in these songs to feel them out, pull at their pieces and find deep melodies. The slow build of opener “Cold” eases us into this cool, glittering soundscape before “Cassette 2012” cuts through the atmosphere with a leaner chug. From there, the album moves through its dreamy songs at a deliberate pace. Nothing on the record feels rushed. Each swell of sound is given its time and space to fully grow. It all builds to the wonderfully tense closer “4:45”, which keeps you waiting for the band to break into theatric crashing. They never do. Instead, they churn on with their dream-pop sound. It may rely a bit too heavily on mid-tempo—there’s not a lot of pace-changers after “Cassette 2012”—but there is a subtle vitality to this sound that keeps it from going stale. It’s not easy to be both immediate and hazy, but Delay Trees combine the two poles nicely here.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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