ALBUM REVIEW: “Sympathy” by Scattered Trees

March 16. 2011 | By David Korman

Scattered Trees
[Roll Call Records/EMI]

The Chicago based rock sextet Scattered Trees questions death and bereavement in their latest album Sympathy. The album’s matter of fact lyrics portray raw emotions.

The most pervasive instrument on the record is Nate Eiesland’s voice, which lends an immense sense of sincerity to the music. On “Five Minutes” the lead vocalist sings, “I can’t relate / to what I say / ‘cause I’m not myself.” His rich organic vocals are ubiquitous. Whether accompanied by synthesized piano melodies or the bubbly picking and strumming of a mandolin, Eiesland’s voice brings resolution to each tune. The melodic arrangements are at times upbeat with driving drums and distorted electric rhythm guitar, as in “Four Days Straight.” These sections are effectively juxtaposed against lyrics derived in pain and mourning in a way that has you grooving to the music and fighting back tears all at the same time.

I am absolutely in love with this music. It is at once haunting and hopeful; I cannot help but internalize some of the pain, and yet I find myself listening over and over and loving every second of it. Support Scattered Trees and buy Sympathy...immediately.


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