Tall Tall Trees – A Wave of Golden Things
Joyful Noise Recordings
– out now
3.5 / 5
We met New York-based banjoist Mike Savino at the Newport Folk Fest in 2014, and our impression went something like this: “This gent is kind and intelligent and when’s his next record?” This fourth full-length, A Wave of Golden Things, is our sadly delayed introduction to Savino, aka Tall Tall Trees, and to that “kind and intelligent” impression we must now add “gentle and thoughtful.” That’s what this album is. It’s buoyed by infectious pop energy right from the get-go, playfully chirps its glee from jail and otherwise, and concludes on one of the most beautiful songs you’re likely to hear this year. All this in a handful of (mostly) acoustic instruments, a mouthful of raspy vocals, and a pluckful of banjo strings. (We forgot to mention the rooster crowing! Nuts.) It’s not a perfect album, and it feels like a joyous, lighthearded romp, one that comes on quickly and leaves almost as quickly. But that last song…
“A Wave of Golden Things” is a doozy of a song. And it’s the reason to get this album.
As your musical advisor, we must advise you to listen to the title track. It’s a slow turn in the album, a somber but beautiful dirge twining piano and banjo into a simple hook; Savino’s vocals are wispy and soft, gentle and cradling; and the song opens up to a massive chorus. It’s Savino’s anthem to the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and it shows the power of music to crush and to heal (the two things we guarantee this song will do to you).
And lastly, as your musical advisor, we advise you to support a handful of musicians who bring meaning into your life. We suggest you consider Tall Tall Trees in that list, specifically buying the title track here, as it’s one of the more shocking and earnest, heart-on-sleeve songs we’ve heard in a while. To us, this song is the axe that breaks through the frozen lake within. Click that link above (again) and share it with those you care about. Recommended.
The Tall Tall Trees reside on this link.