Album Reviews

Lohio: Family Tree [Album Review]


Lohio is an indie-folk-pop band out of Pittsburgh, and they are often likened to Yo La Tengo and Sufjan Stevens. This should be no surprise ones you hear their playful orchestrated pop. The band has a new EP called Family Tree; five wonderfully catchy songs that you simply do not want to miss. The EP opens with “Leave The City, Leave Your Room”, a song with spirited piano dominance and beautiful harmony vocals from Greg Dutton and Liz Adams. It quickly becomes apparent that these traits are not only common on Family Tree, they are inherent in the music Lohio creates.

“Wind And Leaves” slows down a bit, acting as Family Tree‘s ballad-esque midpoint intermission, but as the song hid its own midpoint and electric guitar becomes the focal point and the song tailspins into a bit more dreamy experimentation that heard in the early moments of the EP. This also cues a significant volume increase and a song that began soft and slow swirls into one of the more noted tracks on the album.

There’s a technical aspect to Lohio’s music that is brilliant — and you may not hear it at first. Case in point is “Adelai”. Behind its powerful melody and highly infectious bounce is great skill. It may take a few listens, but the horns are brilliant and that clarinet is borderline perfect. It is also the song Lohio chose to make a video for, which takes cues from Where The Wild Things Are.

As you might expect given its title, “Funeral Song” follows the path of “Wind And Leaves” with a slower pace, concluding Family Tree on a quieter note. Each song is mystical in its greatness, but as a whole, the EP is absolutely stunning. Family Tree is, perhaps, one of the best things I’ve discovered so far in 2011.

Download: “Adelai” by Lohio


[CDEP, 2010]

1. Leave The City, Leave Your Room
2. Family Tree
3. Wind And Leaves
4. Adelai
5. Funeral Song

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