With the charm of a slow bloom amidst sunshine, Weekend Atlas makes it trendy to be pastoral. Their songs on their self-titled album Weekend Atlas are like romps into the woods with a good pipe and even better friends. There’s a sense of community that plays throughout which is no coincidence when you examine it musically and see how the multiple instruments throw party vibes. Of course, this is just a shade of what Weekend Atlas wants to convey.
They really seem to find their sound when things take on more introspective lights and intimate settings. In a world of unified sound being the norm, this group bleeds between the bright, moody and intense with a lovely little ode to the malt shoppe just for good measure. With horns and a wide taste for the eras, Weekend Atlas reminds us that pleasure comes from unexpected areas most of the time.
I rode waves of different impressions with the vocal performance on this record. It sat perfectly above the mix, save for the male harmony being a little too underneath, but for the most part Kelly White steals the show. At times her delivery is thin and strange with a cry sitting right at the back of her throat, but the music lends itself well to that effect and you likely won’t bat a lash. Now, that’s all I can really say as far as a constructive critique because the rest is classic, just beautiful passages, tone, harmonies, the whole aural enchilada. Let me say this, 2:24 of “Finale” will have you entranced.
Between the beginning and the end, some real storytelling is at work. From the catchy and friendly chorus of “Love Child” to the somber and grounding “Off The Earth” the listener will be fed with a plethora of lines, hooks and emotion. My favorite is the aforementioned “Finale.” It ends like a gorgeous epilogue, strings and trumpet in fine unison, the drums pounding with momentum and it all climaxes with the exquisite cut of the instruments – White’s voice the lone remainder.
It’s some of the most poignant use of isolated vocal I’ve heard in a long time. The melody is simple, but strong enough to carry the weight of 30+ seconds of vulnerable songwriting. When it comes to musical moments, that’s what it’s all about.
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