To describe this Norfolk, VA-based band as ambient folk would be an understatement. This five-piece Americana outfit is more akin to a state of mind. The music feels like a lush, endless summer afternoon; plenty of reverb, delay, echo and dreams.
The band’s second album is filled with nimbly twanged California dreaming; it nudges the listener into deep reflections through varying degrees of piano and acoustic guitar, encompassing structural elements as indie-contemporary as the Milk Carton Kids and as rustically nuanced as American Beauty-era Grateful Dead. Tracks like “Trampoline” are countrified recollections of youth, bittersweet concessions of lost innocence. “Birds,” with lyrics like “little birds on my shoulder / Singing the words I should have told her,” tells of relationships gone cold.
“She Will Be Mine,” laced with the quirky roots lyricism and off-kilter falsetto vocal delivery that Jack White does so well, describes the protagonist’s infatuation with a girl wearing “a bunny blue bonnet on her head.” “Sugar Cane” is staggeringly sparse, 1970s AM radio gold.
A sympathetic collection that challenges ideas about regret, redemption and hope, The Prettiest Shade of Blue soothes even the most exposed nerve.
– Mark Uricheck