Labor of Giants released their album, Jelly, in June of 2013. The Connecticut-based band found themselves together after a few bands were undone, then the rest assembled through a combination of random Craigslist finds. Labor of Giants is made up of Tim Braun on keys, Dan Garaffe on bass, Kevin Hugh on drums, Nancy Michaud on lead vocals and guitars and Ed Sibouran on lead vocals and guitars. All the musicians on this record use their instruments with a liberal precision that gives Labor of Giants a unique and organic sound. Before understanding their origins, I would have guessed they just popped out of the forest like a bunch of funky wood nymphs ready to jam.
They have been collaborating since 2009 and released their first EP, Miazmal Haze, in 2011. They recorded their album, Jelly, at Ed Sabourin’s Let It Roll Studios. Jelly was written over the course of several years, and different members of the band contributed to the initial sketching. Sabourin, Michaud and Garaffa were an integral part of the initial writing phase for Jelly. Live performances and repeated plays contributed to how Jelly was polished and primed for recording.
They have a jazzy, gypsy sound. They have been compared to bands like Phish and My Morning Jacket. Labor of Giants does indeed have a tendency to jam, though their specific brand of jam is an accessible one on Jelly.
“Satisfy” is the playful third track on the album. The voice work feels spontaneous and it really works for the overall sound of this album. “The Beginning” is my favorite song on the album. It is inspiring and sends a message of empowerment and independence. The sound is complex and vacillates between mystery and grit. “Tones of the Setting Sky” mixes playful piano work with upbeat and lyrical voice work. The result is whimsical and light. “Requiem” has the feel of a dreamy lullaby. The jazz element of Labor of Giants truly shines through on this song. It is evocative and deep without being trite. This song is a prayer and a song you can get lost in.
Labor of Giants continue to play all over the Northeastern part of the US. I for one would not be surprised to see Labor of Giants jamming their way through the festival circuit this summer.
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