The Rosebuds
Sand + Silence


3.9
excellent

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
August 6th, 2014 | 59 replies


Release Date: 08/05/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Indie-pop and alt-rock done right, brought to you by some of the finest musical minds in those genres.

Hailing from North Carolina and at times going criminally under-the-radar, it can be quite difficult to fathom that The Rosebuds have actually been around since 2001. In that time period spanning well over a decade, they’ve released five studio albums , one EP, and a Christmas compilation. After spending the past two years working on separate projects, bandmates Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp finally reunited to work with old friend Justin Vernon (ever heard of him?) to produce a sixth full-length studio album. With Vernon on guitar, The Rosebuds were also joined by drummer Matt McCaughan (of Bon Iver) and Nick Sanborn (of Sylvan Esso) to crank out an album that encapsulates many of the best qualities to be found in modern day indie-pop.

The fact that Sand + Silence was recorded by a close-knit circle of friends helps to explain why this particular record feels so effortless. Almost immediately upon listening, you can visualize the band making these songs together, bouncing ideas off each other and improvising in a way that only musicians with a strong chemistry could. One needs only to cite the breezy, throwback ‘Blue Eyes’ to support the assertion that this is easily the band’s most natural and flowing piece to date. Electric guitars bounce joyously atop a buoyant rhythm, and the vocal melody in the verses push the song to cloud nine. The 1960’s surf-pop feel of ‘Mine Mine’ furthers the cause, serving as a jaunty follow-up to the already inspired and impulsive aforementioned track. Moments like these serve as a reminder of what no-frills indie-pop can be, and they hit you like a cool, refreshing ocean breeze.

Even the darker tracks here ring with a certain optimism. Opener ‘In My Teeth’, for example, weaves in and out the groove created by its harmonious vocals, electric riffs, and upbeat drumming. It should be noted that the band’s optimism is exercised in good taste and with plenty of restraint; they do a splendid job of avoiding the nauseating, sugar-coated glee-pop that plagues a significant portion of the scene. Oftentimes, the weightlessness of the album is derived from an airy, melodic atmosphere. ‘Give Me a Reason’ comes to mind in this case, an early-album find that glides by on a simple beat and a mesmerizing chorus. The Rosebuds implemented a variety of styles to craft Sand + Silence’s aura – one that is relaxing, infectious, and noticeably self-assured.

Where the album falls short is its creativity. From a band like The Rosebuds, who according to Vernon makes “some of the most important music in the world”, a collection of well-constructed and enjoyable indie-pop tunes rings a little hollow. There’s no imaginative twist – nothing to force listeners to take notice that The Rosebuds and Justin Vernon have joined forces to make music together. It could be partially drawn up to high expectations, but even that doesn’t completely cover up the relative simplicity of the songs on the record. There isn’t an indie fan in the world who won’t swoon, at least a little bit, over the uplifting hoo’s and hums on ‘Death of an Old Bike’ – but when you get right down to it, this album probably should have pried just a little deeper.

All in all, Sand + Silence is an accomplished blend of rock, indie, and pop. The way it all comes together so readily and smoothly is one of its greatest assets, and it’s certainly one of those albums that can be enjoyed from start to finish. If you don’t mind sacrificing novelty and experimentation – even if only for a while – to indulge a sweet spot for gorgeous and memorable melodies, then Sand + Silence will permanently set up shop between your ears. Consider this to be just the revival that The Rosebuds needed.




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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

I wasn't going to review this, but since I saw that nobody else on staff had put their name on it, I
figured I'd throw together a short write-up.

Edit: Did I mention this has been just an absolutely great year for music?

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2014


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

i concur with this review

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

tommygun
August 6th 2014


24988 Comments


embedded tune sounds cool will give this one a whirl

nice rev sowing

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Thanks...Yeah it's a nice album, not AOTY material but still so smooth and enjoyable.

ExplosiveOranges
August 6th 2014


3144 Comments


Pretty good stuff from what I've heard so far. Great review as always, Sowing.

Digging: Winterfylleth - The Divination Of Antiquity

Feather
August 6th 2014


1352 Comments


If sowing likes it, I'll like it. Taking a listen now.



Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

RivalSkoomaDealer
August 6th 2014


847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Needed some more accessible 2014 stuff. Good recommendation guys.

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Alium

oodlesofnoodles
August 6th 2014


26 Comments


Excellent review. kind of a campy album title, but the music is catchy af

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Thanks ExplosiveOranges and oodlesofnoodles. This definitely of of those albums that goes down smooth. It's not challenging or inventive, but it doesn't need to be and that's not what they were going for anyway.

ChoccyPhilly
August 6th 2014


7179 Comments


It feels like summer from the preview clip. If the rest of the album is like this, I might just go out an dance naked to it. Good review by the way

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

ExplosiveOranges
August 6th 2014


3144 Comments


That awesome moment when you realize half of the featured reviews on the front page are Sowing's.

ChoccyPhilly
August 6th 2014


7179 Comments


That's either dedication or boredom

ExplosiveOranges
August 6th 2014


3144 Comments


Or both.

ChoccyPhilly
August 6th 2014


7179 Comments


Blue Eyes sounds oddly nostalgic

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

That awesome moment when you realize half of the featured reviews on the front page are Sowing's.

This happens more than you'd think, it just depends on when albums that I want to review are released.

That's either dedication or boredom

Perhaps a tad of both, but mostly it's just me having the time to review music I like. School starts in one week for me (staff return to work way earlier than students), so gradually my time here will take a hit again. It's nice to be able to contribute when I can, because I know the reality is that work will dominate 90% of my life from late August until...well, next summer.

Blue Eyes sounds oddly nostalgic

Definitely. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it reminds me of.

KerfuffleinaHussle
August 6th 2014


783 Comments


Usually this kind of music glides by a little too easily for me, but I dig this. It's got a lot of heart. Are all their LPs this good?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Yes, but they're all different.

ExplosiveOranges
August 6th 2014


3144 Comments


I wish we users had .1 increments, because this is probably about a 3.8 for me right now.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2014


16413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

I tried to resist using them for as long as I could, but eventually I caved. It's just so convenient being able to separate albums to that fine of a degree. Some may argue that it's ridiculous, and I wouldn't completely disagree, but come year-end list time 'll have a lot less decision making to do (like, I won't have to do tie-breakers and weigh the pros/cons of 14 different albums that I rated a 3.5).

humblerodent
August 6th 2014


212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is fucking fantastic. Another great album I would have missed unless sputnik brought it to my attention. Thanks Sowing!

Digging: Caribou - Our Love



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