Crow vs Lion is the music and art project of Dan Gallagher of Bucks County, PA, that features Liam Hare (drums) and Andy Kostrzewski (bass). He recently released The Heart, The Time, The Pen. Gallagher explains, “The album has four songs dedicated to each section, The Heart, The Time, The Pen, with the title track song #13.” If you want to delve more into the themes and concepts you can read about that on his Bandcamp page.
The music at its core was folk to my ears. If you stripped away most of the instrumentation I would say these songs sound a lot like ’60s folk artists including Bob Dylan. That being said I liked the full arrangements. The instrumentation was organic and didn’t seem to have any manipulation in post-production. I really enjoyed the orchestral strings and horns.
“Daniel Odin'' starts sounding like one of those storytelling podcasts. There is a collage of sounds but soon enough we get to music which consists of a lot of warm instrumentation. The organ and violin sounded incredible. I think it’s pretty easy to pick up on the ’60s folk vibe on this song. It’s well written and very easy to appreciate.
This is really just the beginning of a litany of great songs. The nostalgic and somewhat coming of age sounding “Beg, Steal & Borrow” followed by the meditatively warm hum of “Newborn (Exon 42)” solidified I was going to love this album.
There is a nice balance of mood as well. One of the highlights of “Five Six Seven Eight” is festive, fun and oh man did I love the horns on this song. I love that it’s followed by the pensive and melancholy “Waking The Truth” which is also a highlight but for different reasons.
As the songs progress I thought “Alpha & Omega,” “A Thousand Pages” and the jovial and bluegrass inspired closer “The Heart, The Time, The Pen” were highlights.
This is a long album at thirteen songs and close to being a double album.On that note there are enough changes in texture and tone to keep you interested the whole time.
Overall, I thought this was an exceptional album. Highly recommended.
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