Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reviews:: The Great Outdoors Fall EP


Ah... The Great Outdoors are back, and just in time too. The perpetual energy of Summer has left them strung out, reflective and welcoming the seclusion of the rainy season that is just around the corner. Adam Nation and his band of folkers have slowed the tempo and gone back to using three part harmonies, slow plunked piano, acoustics, and banjos to help reflect the change in season.

In Vancouver, Fall is gone in a blink of the eye and this EP is no different. Its passing beauty is a precursor to the grays of the city and the three months you are forced to spend hunched under awnings, fighting for dry space with the other city dwellers. The leaves change color almost too quickly to notice and you start reaching into the back of the closets for sweaters and raincoats. Even an epic like MacIntosh Apple (which breaks the 6-minute mark) seems to disappear from sight like the quick setting sun. The bending steel notes make the track feel lonely, but Melissa Devost’s lovely harmonies certainly make you think the band, unlike Al Green, is ok being alone.

The 5-song EP is full of familiar strums and soothing tones, for both the season and the band. The Garden, a spare track that uses a singing saw, harmonies and gentle picked notes, is a natural continuation from the beautiful sounds the band used on Food, Booze and Entertainment. Blackwater Road jumps into an almost Irish pub singer vibe, but still fits nicely with the feel of the EP, the strongest of the 'EP for all seasons' project so far.

Not like that should be a big surprise for any long time fan of the band. The Great Outdoors has always been able to pen tracks that sit close to the fire in a thick sweater, the kind of songs that were plucked from novels and thoughts on those reflective nights that result from one too many glasses of red. Basically, the kind of songs I love.

Posted at 7:29 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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