Staying on that ‘ethereal tip’ as the kids are prone to saying, the previously reviewed group, Hudson Branch has come out with their newest album, Tightrope Walker. I had an itch for them to bring the energy up a bit on their newest album, and they have successfully turned their backs on my request, but none the less have offered up another ambient-heavy, sad, melody driven pop album that builds upon their latter efforts.
Tightrope Walker moves exactly where you expect it to, there are no slamming beats or shifting key changes; it is a tightly put together album. Bass lines are packaged nicely in between two chord guitar riffs, (see Clouds); and the lead singer, Cobey Bienert’s, melodies do their best to wind and weave through the spaces left open. The result is a finely produced record that limps it’s way into your heart. It will never push above 140 beats per minute, but I think that is asking a bit much from a band that is so indebted to the slow burning singer/songwriter based bands aforementioned. All but one of the songs clock in under 5 minutes, and every single one of them is a step into a lush forest of sound, including tasteful horns, pads and solid back-beats.
It’s an attractive package that doesn’t necessarily pop out at you, or grow on you – the melodies are not immediately catchy, and the music is smoldering emotion, not out-right brigade of sap. They’ve stuck to what they know here, and luckily for us listeners, it’s very easy on the ears. As the commenter had mentioned in my review of Flights, this is another album that is poised to have much success in this transitional season. As summer signs off and gives way to the fall, keep an eye out for more excellent tunes coming out of our great city.