Record Review: The Soft Hills

The Soft Hills

The Bird is Coming Down to Earth

Seattle, WA

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“Hauntingly dreamlike songs from the Cascades”

It’s easy to lump all these new harmony-singing bands from the great Northwest (I miss you Seattle!) together. They all look like sensitive lumberjacks, seem to have some unexplained fondness for Graham Nash and they make those vampires from Twilight seem tough (fuck her already, Count!). What separates the Soft Hills from groups like Blitzen Trapper and Fleet Foxes is their incorporation of David Gilmore-esque psychedelic slide guitar and big time dynamics.  They are defiantly on the same branch of the tree, but the Soft Hills have obviously worked hard to create their own space on it.

If anything, their minor-keyed arpeggios and the open-throated tenor of lead singer Garrett Hobba sound more like Austin TX’s Shearwater than anyone who still roots for the Supersonics. Leadoff track “Phoenix” works as a summary of the rest of the album; close harmonies, haunting guitars and a Crazy Horse stomp groove halfway through.  The Bird is Coming Down to Earth is a perfect title for this album, in that it evokes the romance of the forest, but reminds the listener that the woods are where wolves hunt and that soaring bird has to return to land. (Tapete Records)

Produced by Matt Brown

Mixed by Erik Blood

Mastered at Golden Mastering

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