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|AND ALSO THE TREES: Don't you forget us #1|
What do you know about the underrated? And what do you know about Post-Punk? I know a lot about both, so I decided that I'll share some of that knowledge by counting down records of several noteworthy bands. So let your local Post-Punk archmaester lead you through the discography of some of the most criminally underrated bands in history of not just Post-Punk, but music in general. Welcome to my new series: Don't you forget us. Starting with: And Also the Trees are an Experimental Post-Punk band that has been at it since the early 80s and are now 15 albums in and still have barely a cult following.
|15||And Also The Trees|
"Shrills and trying to loosen the ends."
Their sonically most adventurous album that asks the question: What if we did everything they way we always do, but made it sound much more dizzying and earpiercing. Unfortunately, this is also the band at their most disorganised and directionless. The decision to add more electronics and spiked production on guitars may not be entirely bad, but is definitely not one that the band knew how to pull off. In the end, while there's definitely some fun to be had, this album just feels like a strange experimental detour that doesn't really know, which way it wants to go.
Go-to tracks: The Cyclone, Highway 4287
|14||And Also The Trees|
"Ruminations and how I decided to meditate on all the distress the world has caused me."
One of AATT's distinguishable traits is their love for acoustic recreations of their own work (other notable instance is When the Rains Come, which will come later). Their music is definitely one of the most suitable ones for acoustic coverage, as is proven on this semi-live little endeavour. It even made songs from Silver Soul sound pleasant and kind. The only possible gripe one could possibly have with this compilation is that it feels a little out of place with the rest of their discography. Sure enough, it is a fine musical piece, but unlike its artistic sibling When the Rains Come, it doesn't exactly go far from being just an interesting acoustic randition of the band's work.
Go-to tracks: The Cyclone
|13||And Also The Trees|
From Under the Hill
"First steps and before we knew how to adapt the torment to the sound."
Their most straight-forward album; one far from any experiments or risky moves; one that sees the band still very much in a full-on Post-Punk mood. There is not a whole lot to say about this, except that its atmospheric dissonance and thematic darkness makes it extremely soul-tearing and near schizophrenically dismal. Indeed, these songs would later go on to appear on the band's self-titled albu but hearing them in this initial demo quality brings a whole new layer of atmosphere to them.
Go-to track: The Tease the Tear
|12||And Also The Trees|
When the Rains come
"Repurposing and what if I took a different path."
Even when they're making a Best of compilation, they have to do it differently. You won't find any note of this not being an original album anywhere online, but it is a collection of remastered and instrumentally and sonically rearranged songs from the past (now fully acoustic), but compiled into one wholly new musical experience, just like Driftwood. Except this time it has a compelling cohesive sound that isn't reminiscent of some live-performance and the flow of the songs is much more clrealy defined.
Go-to tracks: Fighting in a Lighthouse, The Street Organ, When the Rains Come
|11||And Also The Trees|
"Nonchalancy and not everything deserves to be sung."
Virus Meadow delved into more of a nonchalant singing territory, but it is also a fully realised Post-Punk album with occasional off-the-wall vocal endeavours that only resemble spoken-word. Its raw energy and emotional torment is as thick as a proper Post-Punk album should have. The hard-to-digest vocals are as present as ever, the progressing musical passages and the electrifyingly detailed instrumentation and production leave the listener emotionally stunned.
Go-to tracks: Slow Pulse Boy, Gone Like the Swallows, Virus Meadow
|10||And Also The Trees|
Farewell to the Shade
"Transition phase and how the journey was more important than the cause."
Up until this point in their career, And Also the Trees have been more true to the Post-Punk than not. Nevertheless, this album sees the band already copiously try out the techniques of that atmospheric beauty that would eventually go on to define their sound. While still staying on the heavily bass-driven and instrumentally lively and vocally crumbling, they already started venturing into the territory of levitating dream-like ambiance. The album's only major flaw is that it doesn't exactly balance those two right. It is either quite a standard Gothic Post-Punk album with some intriguing instrumental moves or an unrealised Experimental effort. But it is neither at the same time.
Go-to tracks: Prince Rupert, Ill Omen, The Harp
|9||And Also The Trees|
Green Is The Sea
"Entropy and how I learned to numb my pain."
It is logical that after the more or less directionless attempts at reinventing their sound with Farewell to the Shade, the band would only pursue those goals. Green is the Sea marks the band's definitive transition into experimental territories. The band has ventured into some deeply ethereal lengths on here, basically abandoning all of their past Gothic influences. The songs have a certain darkness to them; they feel much more echoic and in despair; their flow, while not necessarily perfect, still manages to set a crushingly emotional tone.
Go-to tracks: The Fruit Room, Men of Absolute, Mermen of the Lea
|8||And Also The Trees|
"Sharpness and the easiest way in."
Vibrant, yet moody; instrumentally ecstatic, yet emotionally hurt; musically abstract, yet spiritually adventurous. Although already deep into experimental and emotional chagrin, this album might be their most accessible and easily digestible of all. It's a brooding, but simple affair. The band have found a sound they are comfortable with and will from now on be exploring further with nearly every release. It's a vital milestone for this ever evolving group, even though it can be overshadowed compositionally by some of their later work.
Go-to tracks: Sunrise, The Dutchman, The Flatlands
|7||And Also The Trees|
And Also the Trees
"Traditionalism and how I first learned to love the sound unchanged."
The band's first effort and their most typical within the boundaries of Post-Punk. It is quite odd listening to this album and knowing just what depths the band ventures into decades later, abandoning this dizzying and rough affair near completely. Many would suggest that in comparison with the rest of their work, this is the most directionless and non-distinct of all of their work. And while it is true that on here their sound is yet to sprawl into something wholly original, people tend to forget that what we have here is a perfectly great Post-Punk album as is.
Go-to tracks: So This is Silence, Talk Without Words, Midnight Garden
|6||And Also The Trees|
The Millpond Years
"Sentiment and how I could not hold my feelings in control."
Their most emotionally sprawling record. Still very much a Post-Punk album, but not yet reaching into the full-on experimental horizons. The years of the Millpond Years is AATT attempting to stay focused on the rather standard Post-Punk sound, while still exploring its boundaries. The off-the-wall strangeness is present, but only periodically and in particular songs. But outside of that, this is afairly straight forward album that is flowing and moving freely withing its genre's limits.
Go-to tracks: The Suffering of the Stream, Count Jeffrey, Shaletown, From the Silver Frost
|5||And Also The Trees|
Hunter Not the Hunted
"Cold blood and what future holds."
Hunter Not the Hunted marks And Also the Trees' seemingly final stage of evolution. They have finally found their voice, the sound fully unique to them, that cold and chilling, but also gradually engrossing feeling of solitude that they'll later perfect on the follow-up record Born Into the Waves. This album is full of patience-testing, slow-moving and instrumentally sombre passages that only deepen the band's already clearly established tangling, shivering and vibrant sound.
Go-to tracks: Only, Bloodline, A Woman on the Estuary, Rip Ridge
|4||And Also The Trees|
Further from the Truth
"Patience and going back to the roots."
After the strange (and thankfully no longer pursued) obscurity that was Silver Soul, the band decided to dial back on their reinventing and went back to their more usual sound, leaving organ-like synthesisers in the background, where they belong and keeping the already enticing instrumentals sparrowing in the forefront. They took their much needed break and released this album five years after Silver Soul. And for what it's worth, the break did well on them as this album is full of that menacing, yet blissful atmosphere I grew to love in AATT. It would only later turn out that this is just a transition point before they spiral their aesthetic into whole new grounds with The Rag and Bone Man.
Go-to tracks: 21 York Street, In My House, The Willow, The Untangled Man
|3||And Also The Trees|
"Virtuoso and new ways of calming down."
As paradoxical as it might seem, this album sees And Also the Trees at their most gleeful. While still maintaining their ususal calm and quiet approach, the songwriting finesse sprung up into near heavenly heights. The instrumentation on here resembles near-bluesy sound and the much more abundant incorporation of horns, saxophone and more amplified, sharper guitars resulted in a sound reminiscent of some lounge rock. Thus although changing only the skeletal approach, the band managed to elevate their sound to whole new relaxing grounds and push the envelope of calm Post-Punk even further.
Go-to tracks: Brother Fear, Paradiso, The Lights of Phoenix, Missing
|2||And Also The Trees|
Born Into The Waves
"Absolution and how I became one with the aether."
Quite possibly AATT's most realised effort in the direction of pure sophisticated atmospheric euphoria. This album explores all the ins and outs of a dream-like magentism, what with its moody instrumentation, stonecold vocal delivery and cold wintery atmosphere. There has hardly been an album as perfectly showcasing longing and cold isolation as this.
Go-to tracks: Your Guess, Winter Sea, The Sleepers, The Skeins of Love
|1||And Also The Trees|
(Listen for) the Rag and Bone Man
"Darkness and how I overcame all the world's anguish."
And here we are; what it all was heading up towards. On this album the band has taken a step into every possible direction within their comfort zone of calm, instrumentally dense and atmospherically dark style they've been chasing their entire existence. There has hardly ever been an album encapsulating despair and poetic solitude as much as this. Just as the title suggests, this is an odyssey of a broken man wandering around the world digging for his and others' past. And Also the Trees are on their conceptual, compositional and instrumental high like never before and like nobody else ever again. It's beautiful, yet haunting; calm, yet in distress; nocturnal, yet hopeful; menacing, yet unwinding. It's a perfect And Also the Trees record.
Go-to tracks: Domed, Rive Droite, Stay Away From the Accordion Girl, A Man With a Drum
|For the two of you who actually care, here's my publishing schedule:|
11.9. - hopefully that wretched TV/Film thread that I can't get done for days now
12.9. - some discussion about something (like the Worst Users?, Changes Submission Thread and so on)
13.9. - results of Genre on the Grid 2018
14.9. - I'll make something about a certain genre or style of music (just like Post-Punk Heartbreakers or Soft-Spoken Endeavours), this time probably Folk-Rock
15.9. - I'll probably dissect St. Vincent's new track 'Los Angeles' just like A Private Understanding)
16.9. - Don't you forget us #2 (probably My Dad is Dead, New Model Army or The Sound, depends on what I'll be finished with by then)
|Never heard of 'em Unique, will check. What's the best entry point knowing the doof as you do?|
|Well the most accessible point would be The Klaxon, but if you don't mind patience in your music, you might as well go straight for Rag and Bone Man|
|I'll go straight to your top pick then, will report back later today|
|2 is kinda bad tho|
|Lovely read, I love lists like these. Will be following the rest of the series, and will try check these guys out at some point in the next several years |
|Thank you, Bendover. I appreciate that.|
|Listening now and they remind me ever so slightly of the band ROME is places thanks to the vocals I think, maybe the wrong comparison but I enjoy that band and this is definitely appealing to me so far. |
Also some similarities with mid-period Anathema in the vocal melodies.
|Never heard of Rome, will check out.|
|Now I'm getting some Nick Cave, Tindersticks and some soundtrack vibes in there.|
I think what I'm saying is they're my bag.
Think the first song made me think they were going to be more of an out and out goth band.
|'Rive Droite' was incredible|
|Okay, I've heard about a dozen Rome songs now and I can tell that a certain similarity is there, but mostly due to the acoustic arrangement and the rather darker tone.|
|For the two of you, who actually care, here's my publishing schedule:|
*For the two of you who actually care, here's my publishing schedule:
Teaching Unique commas, day one
|oh shit, thank you.|
|Liked the album a lot after two spins, warrants a 4/5 for now and an instant download. I'll get back to you after spinning it for a week ;)|
I'll get to the rest of the discog later and refer back to the list as I work through, good work.
|okay it's decided, my next 'Don't you forget us' installment is on New Model Army|
|I quite like me some New Model Army but I've only checked a couple of albums once or twice so sounds interesting|
|how did I miss this list? will check|
|i have a friend who arbitrarily found them once and said i'd love them since i dig like joy division and stuff. looks like i'll have to check them soon|
|I just chucked a cheeky 5 to Rag & Bone - actually listening to the album again right now, fourth or fifth spin in total.|
Instrumentally immense. I can forgive the vocal Nick Cave worship-isms, they suit the music so all's good
|I wouldn't call it a Nick Cave worship. At the time it was fairly common for monotone deep-voiced dudes with accents to make music.|
|Ok, I forgive the organic similarity.|
I'd almost sell the album's appeal as 'a Nick Cave album where the music is the star'.
For a slightly similar atmosphere try 'the Opiates revised' by Thomas Feiner. I actually think I'm starting to actually prefer this album to that one, we'll see.
Also it definitely has a lot of David Sylvian in there too, another great thing.
|New Model Army list might come out today.|
21 York Street
The Butcher's Daughter
|still can't believe you didn't mention The Butcher's Daughter as one of the go-to tracks.. personal insult that is..|
|here you go, it's in the beginner's guide|
|better, not great..|
|can't stop listening to accordion girl though.. what a fucking song..|
|I feel like this ambient-esque phase they are in since the 2000s is only meant to be listened to in headphones on top volume for maximum engulfing feeling|