Bon Iver engineers this Wisconsin trio's debut album of grave subjects and jaunty pop rock.
Ready your ears for some upbeat and, frankly, ingenious orchestral pop-slash-psych folk that deals with such heavy subjects as cancer, death, and "A Near Death Experience at the Sea" (as one song is titled). Sunny melodies and brooding instrumentation combine for eerie and ironically-jaunty riffs. Epic "The East Coast" flows as a one-sided dialogue or letter outlining the typical stages of life one experiences, from the first apartment to the wedding day. From sprightly and pizzicato violin plucks to a spread out, sailing vocal rounds, each moment of sound is a perfect, delectable gem.
In Deference to a Broken Back was inspired by bassist and vocalist Jason Sunde's difficulty with a back injury, as the title suggests. Sunde's brother Jonathan Sunde, who is credited with most of the lyrics, is a multi-instrumentalist providing various guitars, vocals (in which he was classically trained), Wurlitzer, recorder, et al. Rounded out by Jesse Edgington (drums, percussion, organ), The Daredevil Christopher Wright also employ the efforts of various friends and family as session musicians. Fellow Eau Claire, Wisconsin resident Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver) also mixed much of the record, adding a sound collage on "Stewardess".