Press Reviews

 
Perfomer Magazine Review of Beautiful Shadow

A side effect of the current glut of aggressive garage rock is the suppression of the looser, not-so-aggressive style. Enter Blue Tree, a band capable of expressing itself with languid, flowing style. Even the more upbeat tracks such as "Almost Real" feature the same swaying, eyes-half-shut vocal delivery that permeates Beautiful Shadow. Indeed, no matter how the band tries to swing the vibe, the vocal tracks on this record evoke images of a powdered Brit singing underwater amidst the manta rays and sea anemones and not so much, say, your local rock dive. Beautiful Shadow has many pivotal- sounding songs; be it the smooth drama of "Beautiful Shadow" the song or "Found (In the City)," a superiorly tasty track in which Blue Tree finally hits home. Although they prove themselves capable in other musical metaphors, the band sounds happiest in the world of indeterminate emotion. It's hard to tell whether they're feeling hopeless or hopeful and part of the fun is in the guessing. While the band has a consistent tone that could be mistaken for lack of depth, they are able to amp up the voltage when they choose to do so. When the mood is right, the band switches gears from their usual cruising speed of "Flow" up to a more intense "Sway" setting. The band successfully switches back and forth in "Your Old Guitar," one of the last tracks on the record. The final is an untitled piece performed on a dark, resonating piano. This untitled piece really says a lot about Blue Tree's vibe via principle tied in with execution - the fact the band wrote this piece then put it as a tail to the record speaks volumes. This short coda retains the emotional arrhythmia already stated throughout the record, but lays it all out front.

- C.D. Di Guardia

 

CD Baby Review of Beautiful Shadow

Atmospheric waves crash into looping, multi-tiered harmonies, bursts of guitar and vocals that crest and fall with the taffy-like layers, stretching and rebounding, expanding and recoiling. If this album were a painting, it would be done with brilliant color, with the bare hands, taking handfulls of gooey wet paint and smearing it across a 360 degree canvas; add to that sharp, distinct, three-dimensional texturing and you're getting there. It's the kind of album that leads you to imagine a life without gravity, a limitless existence where a thought is all you need to manifest your desire. This is oceanic pop, turbulent but steady, which fills the mind with iridescent blues and greens.

- Tamara Turner (Editor's Pick)

 

Soundcheck Magazine Review of 'Reflections'

Vocalist and acoustic guitarist Lawson Hancock and Blue Tree
have created some avant-garde music with Reflections. Incorporating
not just your standard musical instruments, Blue Tree
employ banjos, e-bows, bongos, and whatever else sounds like
it should be part of the track. Their music, while weighing
heavily on the acoustic palette, lends a somewhat trippy feel
akin to Pink Floyd. “Water Under The Bridge” opens “Reflections”
and while it seems to have an uplifting chordal structure,
Blue Tree manages to employ a hint of darkness to this
track in their melodic ideas. “Gwen” would have been better
off left on the studio shelves as it displays a sense of corniness
with its lyric “Gwen, just say when.” However, an enticing guitar
solo from Mike Leavey does warrant the attraction of some
attention to this track. “Reflections,” an acoustic track all the
way through, delivers quite a haunting melody for its hook an
element that is the forte of this CD. Blue Tree really outdoes
themselves with respect to the avant-garde element with the
final track “The Voice (Echo).” Hearing only Hancock’s voice
accompanied by a distant and haunting soundscape, it seems
as if he’s delivering a singing sermon reflecting on all the
imperfections of life and the world we live in. “The (Echo)” is
a reprise back to “…Hope and Pray.” Blue Tree’s music is definitely
not intolerable but we won’t be hearing this on the radio
next month either. However, if you’re looking for something
very unusual to listen to, “Reflections” is recommended.


- Karl Russo