In Invitation Air, The Ginger Envelope‘s follow-up to Edible Orchids, the band displays an impressive progression in songwriting and instrumental capabilities. Cohesive is its nature; this album goes very well alongside their earlier work. But from the opening track, “Turn Into Tempests”, it’s readily apparent that a change has occurred, one that finds The Ginger Envelope giant leaps ahead in their ability to wow the listener.
Invitation Air has an impeccable flow. Each song has a sort of symmetry that crecendos and wanes throughout the album, thus producing a synergy oft difficult to attain. Breaks exist, as heard between “Stray” and the soft beginnings of “Half Awake (Roddy)”, but these points act as intermissions. As “Half Awake” continues, the cohesion returns. Similarities can be said of the transition from “Moon Rover” to the catchy “Down That Well”.
There are countless integral parts to what make The Ginger Envelope noteworthy; without them, these songs would simply be commonplace. Perhaps the most prominent three are, in this order, the smokey vocals of Patrick Carey, the precision pedal steel played by Matt Stoessel, and the quality lead guitar by Jason Trahan. Of course, prominence exists in the typically brushed percussion of Colin Carey, and the generally subtle key workings of Paul McHugh. And one can also not ignore the selective string accompaniment in songs like “All Pinned Down”, be it banjo or fiddle or whatever. And we cannot forget the backing vocalists who pop up throughout the album, both male and female. You see, it’s a slippery slope…
Invitation Air continues the incorporation of folk-pop that inundated Edible Orchids, and The Ginger Envelope maintains subtleties common in Elephant 6 artists. The songs have light doses of psychedelia injected into them, but fully maintain their pop and folk sensibilities. The collective result finds The Ginger Envelope giving us an honest and refreshing album.
Invitation Air hits next week via One Percent Press.
One Percent Press [CD, 2009]
1. Turn Into Tempests
3. Half Awake (Roddy)
5. All Pinned Down
6. Moon River
7. Down That Well
8. From The Rays
9. Swimming Song
10. Invitation Air