A Wave Of Golden Things

Tall Tall Trees

Joyful Noise Recordings, 2020


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Tall Tall Trees is the moniker of Kishi Bashi band member/collaborator Mike Savino. On his own, the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist brings in influences as vast as Pink Floyd, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs, and Cat Stevens to his psychedelic and experimental banjo-fueled song craft, where he uses an actual homemade banjo (“Banjotron 5000”) to help flesh out his rich and historically textured formula. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“The Wind, She Whispers” starts the record busy and rhythmic, where the music soars with flowing percussion and skilled guitar work in an atypical Americana setting. This precision continues to the acrobatic banjo plucking, bass heavy presence and timeless folk rock qualities of “Expectations.”

This record has just eight tracks, and each one radiates its own unique personality. This includes the hushed, finger picked “Ask Me Again,” where pedal steel adds much to the equation, and “A Number Of Signs,” which brings bluegrass ideas and twang to the hypnotic melodies.

Deeper cuts offer us the playful “Deep Feels,” where the drumming and banjo interact in glorious, exciting ways, and the indeed blues-influenced rock of the moody “Seven Shades Of Blues.” The title track exits the listen with an emotive and slow burning display of piano beauty and cozy ambience, as Savino shows us just how skilled his song craft has become.

A Wave Of Golden Things is certainly a more stripped-back version of his songwriting prowess. This fourth album from Tall Tall Trees is a raw look into Savino’s self-described “cosmic country,” where his shifting vocal work and handful of contributors keep the listener guessing and certainly enjoying the abundance of influences. While probably most often lumped into the indie folk category, Tall Tall Tree doesn't easily fit categorization, which is a large part of the appeal.

And really, how could you not like an album with a song titled “Happy Birthday In Jail”?

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2020 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Joyful Noise Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.