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Whistle Peak review of the LP Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls

The quintet from Louisville in the USA who make up Whistle PeakDavid Boston (vocals, acoustic guitar, ukulele, banjo ukulele, xylophone, keys), Billy Petot (vocals, ukulele, xylophone, keys, tambourine), Jeremy Irvin (electric guitar, xylophone, backup vocals, egg shake, handclaps), Mike Snowden (funky bass) and Garrett Crabtree (drums, percussion) have a new LP set for release on 14th February 2012 – Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls.

Whistle Peak -  Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls

Whistle Peak - Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls

The 11 track album opens with Big And Bright – As though waking from sleep, the opening track gradually picks up instruments as the resonating beat slams through the room. The track sets the scene for the release and has the essential sound that is Whistle Peak, lo-fi electro-folk.

Hurry, Hurry put simply, raised a smile to my eyes. The off-beat is unhurried as the vocal is given space to drawl across the track. The tempo is infectious and required a couple of plays, ensuring that I will spend the rest of the day wandering around like the grinning village idiot.

Wings Won’t Behave – contains so much delicious delay I had to check the speakers hadn’t broken. There is sense of warmth which strangely emerges from Whistle Peak. The content is poignant and the music somewhat brooding, but none the less, there is comfort to be found in that ethereal sound that is prevalent on Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls.

Whistle Peak, “Wings Won’t Behave” by karatebody

Elephants introduces a new set of instruments and the band are in experimental mode with a track that hurls the listener in to Blue Grass territory. There is something in the material that is reminiscent of The Kinks.

With that Play the Ghost steps off to an up-beat tempo and the vocal transforms to roots reggae and we are back with the strident bass tones. A mixture of reflections are transformed by the band, as they demonstrate both depth of song-writing an adroit ability to keep the listener quite literally on their toes.

Half-way through the release – Us Two Can Play – is a suitable pivot for the LP, designed to challenge, as the quintet play around with song-structure and sound.

Land To Land opens the second half of Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls with an acoustic feel where the reference point is the open spaces in the track. The five players manage to avoid bouncing in to one another and the listener is left with a sense that this is a band full of well placed confidence.

Sleepy Pants  is another well judged piece as the ticking clock holds the material like glue to it’s metronomic pace.

In a Boat on a Lake floats out of the speakers with an urgent drive to deliver a party feel. Pitched to perfection, the high notes add a sense of fun to the double time percussion.

Sailor retains the same pitch, yet slowed down dramatically as the percussion switches moods and the whole atmosphere takes a far more serious direction. That is smart song-writing and these two tracks lying side by side demonstrate the capabilities of the band.

The final track on the album – The Laws – rounds off a well judged release with the signature beat coming to the fore, as the band reverse back in to the familiar parking space that is Whistle Peak. Slightly brooding, yet somehow still ensuring the smile remains.

While we are waiting for the release, the eponymous album by Whistle Peak is available on Whistle Peak - Whistle Peak*

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*Purchases made through the Whistle Peak - Whistle Peak link will result in the indie bands blog earning a commission.

 

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