Anna Jarvis (cello), Greg O'Toole (guitar/vocals), Lee Piazza (vocals), Mike Legere (percussion) and Katie Wolsley (violin) are Places Erupt. The band recently released the exceptional album Breathe A Storm. This album evokes a beautiful blend of rock, orchestral musical and folk. I really am a sucker for violin and cello but how can one not enjoy these overtones. Now just because this band has strings don’t call them post-rock. Unlike most post-rock efforts the songs are ultimately pop oriented with palatable vocal melodies with a voice.
Up first is “Anonymous” which builds a lush, surrounding ambience. The band doesn't waste time though and the vocal comes in like a knife disrupting the build. Right away I was impressed by the structure. Beautiful vocal harmonies, intersecting strings and a vibrant rhythm section. The song is full on mini crescendo, interludes and fits in so much into the four-plus-minutes. Fantastic opener.
They don’t disappoint with the next track “Lights.” The beginning is warm and melancholy. A violin lies below an acoustic guitar and vocals. He sings, “How to find repose / These October days we’re sitting in bars long after they’re closed / Nowhere to go / And sleep won’t take hold / So I’m sending you songs I wrote / And I have no focus, I’m gonna explode.”
“Mayday” finds a little more optimistic of an energy. The band at this point completely had me. Catchy lyrics with great string work. “Swept” might have the most memorable vocal melodies. I was reminded of The National at points during this song. Another one they hit out of the park.
I’m not sure what the lyrics were about on “Augustus” but they were original and thought provoking. He sings, “You say there’s a golden age / Not the words of a sage / There never has been, never will be, aren’t any golden days.” I thought the closer “Storm” would be a good song to have in the closing credits of Game of Thrones. Actually there is a slight fantasy feel to some of the songs.
Breathe A Storm is an effort that is worthy of a lot of praise. It’s really an exceptional album that's not getting nearly enough attention. Two thumbs way up.
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