Roll Call Records / EMI
I think I’m relaxed. Yes, definitely calming down, mellowing out, seeking my center, all thanks to the incredibly smooth, direct songs from Chicago’s Scattered Trees. Sympathy is their first full-length album, but I have very little other information on the band beyond their home base and that there are six people involved. There’s a sense of sadness in the music: the opening track “Bury the Floors” has a nearly dirge-like quality, and into cut two, we sing “Everything is falling apart… I’ll tell every ghost I see I’m ready for you.” Down, but not a downer. “Love and Leave” hovers over a country guitar chord, but sounds more uptown when the lyrics kick in: “Every day you love and you leave me” makes you think “What is the essence of romance?” Could be stalker-like attachment, or just a fond memory of a night that may or may not ever recur in your lifetime, even if she’s still on your Twitter feed. Here, both cases overlap like quantum entanglements.
Even the spaces between the notes carry energy and emotion, and when a softly distorted electric guitar slides in, the ambiguously empty space in your heart still feels the same. Nothing has really changed beyond a time signature or a bass retuning.
These guys look like they’re off to SXSW and possible college radio fame, and I wish them well and hope they get around to posting their names and faces online for their fans to get to know them better. But I’m not worried about their broken hearts and empty beds; Scattered Trees handle rejection better than most. If empty hearts drive them to write more music, we are all better off.
Scattered Trees: scatteredtreesmusic.com