Is Passed in Sleep; At Night He Hunts
With its 2009 EP, A Face Made of Wood, Joseph Scott’s White Pines project laid some serious claim to contemporary backwoods folk territory. It was a more modest, slightly more psychedelic counterpoint to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago. As a stop-gap between that release and an upcoming full-length, Scott has put together the Is Passed in Sleep; At Night He Hunts 7”.
Although the record is composed of only two songs, it’s a stellar example of Scott’s evolution in sound. Of the two, “Gather the Children” is the more traditional take on the folk genre. It’s full of pluck-and-strummed acoustic guitar and earnest vocals, but Scott laces it with with a mandolin on heavy reverb and some great doo-wop harmonies. It’s a great piece of unaffected folk-pop. The flipside, “Name As Son,” however, is the true revelation. Built around sleigh bells, glockenspiel, and a monolithic bass line, this is White Pines’ first trip into the wending river of freak folk. Scott’s dual vocal harmonies recall some of the darker, more glorious moments of Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds. The song builds slowly, with more sounds being introduced and coalescing to form an atmosphere of a pagan ritual. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Hopefully, this track signals a tipping of the scales for White Pines down the more experimental alleys of folk. If nothing else, this single whets the appetite for Scott’s future material, whatever form it may take.
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