Perhaps it’s a weird coincidence or perhaps its just an influential tide but the first few soft guitar notes on “Trick of the Light” the opening track of Virginia jazz-folk trio Delaplane-reminded me of something off Nick Drakes folk classic Five Leaves Left. The odd coincidence was that later while reading through the liner notes for the trio’s four song debut EP Consider the Dove singer-guitarist Brian Caperton quotes a line from Nick Drake,
“Just hand me down, give me a place to be.” It is this line that Caperton uses as the catalyst for the esthetic he wants Delaplane to inhabit. It should be noted that this is not to say Consider the Dove sounds anything like a Nick Drake rip off or cover band, though there are influences scattered throughout the songs. One hears them as minute odes and perhaps starting off points rather than straightforward influences.
Let’s get back to Consider the Dove’s opening track “Trick of the Light.” As Caperton gently plucks away his acoustic guitar, university-trained pianist Don Townsend offers melancholic melodies behind which Stewart Muztafago provides the perfect soft percussive punches which help to bring the song together.
It is at times beautiful and sad, and recalls the rambling laid-back jam sessions of ‘90s college rock stalwarts Red House Painters. This sort of hazy elegance is even more apparent on “Mr. B.” Its borderline soft-rock that reaches peaks but just short of bursting out, Delaplane masterfully reels the song back, which gives it its power. On “Cain” they turn back to the folk/piano based slow jam but add echoes of electric guitar to the background that serve to great effect.
The final track is the powerfully beautiful “Of Zion” which begins softly with Caperton and his guitar and then builds and blends in piano, drums, and some bass and saxophone to close out the EP with a force unheard from them previously but very welcomed.
Consider the Dove is a graceful sounding folk album full of songs that amble gently like a dried leaf taken up by a fall breeze. The songs fluctuate, rising and falling with a power that comes from feeling rather than planning.
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