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The Whispering Tree
Go Call The Captain
Modern Vintage Recordings
www.thewhisperingtree.com


The Whispering Tree sound exactly what you would imagine a band by that name would sound like. The soft, rolling rhythmic paddling of bassist Elie Brangbour combined with the gently roving acoustic threading has, at times, piano-driven undertones and at other times is cloaked in chilling guitar riffs like in the seafaring chanty "Song To Silence The World". Its maudlin tone has an eerie echo that supports Eleanor Kleiner's vocal tincture and produces a brooding pathos.

Leaning towards the folksy side of acoustic pop, the duo put several stylish instrumentals into effect, such as the wispy violins and electrified surges of the guitar lifts in "Something Might Happen," followed by the light billowing piano swells of the title track which move to the simpatico strokes of a calm, undulating sea. It is safe to say that many of the tracks are underlined by seafaring themes much like the title of the album Go Call The Captain would suggest. The sparsely layered melody of "The Tallest" has a soft, rippling glide reminiscent of Fiona Apple, and the bluegrass-country tint of the rambling grooves in the banjo molding "Slide" has a charming, pivoting motion as Kleiner's vocals join in the celebratory mood. The track is unlike any of the others, but it shows the fun side of The Whispering Tree as "Washed Ashore" drifts back into maudlin ethers with lyrics that project "This will all be over soon."

The Whispering Tree have a product that is relevant in today's folk-pop market. The melodies have a soft, acoustic compression with a firm backbone, and easy listening aesthetics tasseled in tightly twined instrumentals. Kleiner's vocals give the impression that she is just barely keeping her head above the water projecting themes that relate to Thornton Wilder's 1942 play The Skin Of Our Teeth. Is society doomed to repeat the past? The Whispering Tree channel today's conditions and present it in a way that is attractive while drawing out it meaning subtly and poignantly.

-Susan Frances

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Mike Doughty



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