Album Review :
Between the Trees - The Story and the Song
Artist: Between the Trees
Album: The Story and the Song
Label: Bonded Records
Release Date: April 24, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson
1. The Forward
2. White Lines & Red Lights
3. The Way She Feels
5. The Greatest of These (A Little Love)
7. A Time for Yohe
8. She Is…
10. The Fort
11. You Cry a Tear to Start a River
Ranging from 18 to 21 years old, the five young men who comprise Between the Trees have established something well beyond their years, and this is just the beginning. Between the Trees were one of the first bands to support To Write Love On Her Arms (the story that started the movement, written by Jamie Tworkowski, is printed in the liner notes of this CD), and they released their first album in September 2006 on Bonded Records, which gained them enough attention to get a nation wide release on April 24, 2007.
The maturity in the music and lyrics of these songs are not what you would expect from a band with the average member being 19. Sure, younger musicians can be incredible, but they usually don’t end up reminding me of Switchfoot or The Killers at some points and Anberlin or The Format at others. Between the Trees play a delicately balanced middle-ground between catchy, radio-ready pop rock and danceable, underground indie rock. More and more bands are ending up in this blurred area, which in cases like Between the Trees shows to be a very good thing. Really, it probably will be up to their marketing team whether they become popular with fans of The Fray and Snow Patrol or with fans of Bloc Party and Mae. Lyrically, Between the Trees sing on a range of topics. There are songs of hope based on TWLOHA (The Way She Feels, A Time for Yohe). On “She Is…,” vocalist Ryan Kirkland sings a song of appreciation for his mom. “Fairweather” asks the church “Why do we cry out only when things go wrong?” Constant themes throughout the record include the need for true love and a desire to change the world.
These songs will get stuck in your head and you will want to move to them while singing along. Each musician is full of talent and control, and the heart of the lyrics speak of a longing to follow God in all aspects of life, without ever getting preachy (which is a must, these days). Between the Trees do have the chance to stand out and rise to the top of their genre, but with so many bands out there, it’s no guarantee and depends on a combination of hard work and random industry luck/trends. Personally, I’d like to see them go somewhere, because The Story and the Song is a great debut.