This is pretty much a Mike Savino solo-effort. Recorded somewhere in the hills of Georgia (the state, not the country... probably), the Tall Tall Trees-frontman poured his heart and delayed guitar into his own record. Freedays, the result, is an up-tempo folk-pop effort that breathes both warmth and optimism - but never without a hint of loneliness.
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Who’s this guy with a beard and some fingers swinging both above and/or across his guitar passionately? He sounds kinda like the Tallest Man on Earth but is actually called Tall Tall Trees, and his music is as earnest and pastoral as you could possibly ask it to be. ‘Freedays’, the third of his (largely solo) efforts, sounds like someone blurring the lines between their home studio and the great outdoors, a blurry band record where the instrumentation is often distant and rustling, in an attempt to bring the shrubbery into proceedings.
Savino’s music hallucinates. The opener to ‘Freedays’ record is so watery, and so whispered, that I sorta feel like I’m dreaming up the landscape. He digs it all up on “A Place To Call Your Own”, whose ricocheting guitars are matched with a firm bassline that tries to wake them up. As the song grows into a sparkly, synth folk glam jam, It sounds a bit indebted to the War on Drugs and their near-psychedelic approach to folk rock, with the weird anthemic poises of Strand of Oaks.
Listening to him match these kinda songs with gentle pickathons like “Clc” is plenty entertaining, as at one moment it sounds like he’s writing music for adverts and at another indie movie pop. This song is lovely and little, Savino decorating it with stories of friendships and descriptions of dust -- you know, the things folk songs are made of. “The Riverbend” is mix of sharp fiddle and frenetic banjo, suddenly harkening to an artist like Nathan Bowles before coupling it with brief Bon Iver-esque harmonies and then erupting the whole thing into a barn burner. Which leads me to ask: what is Savino trying to achieve? At every turn he seems to answer that with everything at once, creating a wacky smorgasbord of folk rock that almost sounds as if he’s telling a joke about it.
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- Freedays by Tall Tall Trees
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