As the snow continues to bury New York City, I’ve turned to Branches and their new EP Cabin to alleviate the inevitable restlessness that comes with sitting in a coffee shop for hours on end. I discovered this California-based indie pop band on BandCamp last week, and haven’t been able to stop.
The three song EP was released in November, just two months after their debut release, O, Light!, an equally pleasant collection of folk pop tunes. The mood of Cabin is reflected in its title and inspired by the location of its recording, a cabin in the woods.
The EP follows the timeline of an entire day, both with it’s lyrics and overall mood. The opening track, “In The Morning”, begins with thunderous foot stomping that abruptly ceases, giving way to lead singer Tyler Madsen’s yearning vocals. Branches’ female vocalist, Natalie Nicoles, as well as backing vocals by the band’s four other members, add incredible depth to the uplifting number.
“Paper Hats”, also sung in large part by Madsen, is a simple, comprehensible track depicting the various sights and sounds of the forest. What it lacks in lyrical ingenuity is quickly compensated with its injection of good vibes and joy. Not to be outdone, Nicoles’ “Sleeper” acts as the finale to both the EP and the band’s depiction of a day. Her hushed vocals bring to mind Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers, while Madsen’s backing vocals are reminiscent of The Weakerthan’s John Samson (especially their song “Left or Leaving”).
Cabin can wake you in the morning, lull you to sleep in the evening, or help you get though an intolerable afternoon. Let it. Kudos to Branches for an amazing EP.