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Canadian three-piece folk-rock / alt-country act Elliott Brood have been making albums since 2004, and music before that. Ghost Gardens is the band’s sixth full-length album, in many ways it could be seen as their most unique set of work. One reason is the fact it began with the rediscovery of lost demo songs dating back a decade and a half.
Awash in raw energy, sometimes more raw than other on other occasions the album follows the more recent Work And Love (2014) and the WW1 inspired 2011 release Days Into Years (also on Paper Bag), and with the usual intensity come such songs as “2 4 6 8” and “The Fall” to go with the sensitive, and arguably beautiful “Adeline” and with infectious banjo, raucus lead vocals complete with a sing-a-long feel “’Til The Sun Comes Up Again”. I dare you to pass up this Carnival styled gem, and or the absolutely brilliant “Dig A Little Hole”. With its simple melody and superb harmony vocals you could just as easily be listening to Simon & Garfunkle of yester-year, yes, a little quirky (the lyrics are sure to bring a smile to your face, and tune pump your heart with joy) but that doesn’t stop it being hugely impressive, and as in my case with mandolin and all the handclaps totally addictive.
Flitting from upbeat to the dark, oppressive, or could that simply be reflective, the unit (Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin) through “The Widower”, and of a more gentle feel “Gentle Temper” that comes complete with banjo and more. You are have the mellow composition “T.S Armstrong” and instrumental “Thin Air” and, complete with outer space frequency sound affects “Searching”, before they close with a darkly coloured “For The Girl” as the band’s eclecticism is completed.
After playing the record a number of times I can’t but feel the latter trait is over played, to the detriment of the band’s more reachable ever probing earthy sound.
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