Release Date: Aug 9, 2011
Record label: The Muse Box
Scattered Trees' 2011 album Sympathy continues the heartfelt sadcore and poignant melodic pop the outift has favored since its 2004 debut, Hollohills, when it was primarily a solo project for lead singer/songwriter Nate Eiesland. Having developed since then into a quintet featuring Nate's wife, keyboardist Alissa Eiesland, Sympathy does showcase the group's larger, chamber rock aesthetic while still retaining a kind of intimate sound. Tracks like the group harmony-heavy "Bury the Floors" and the electronic-infused "A Conversation About Death on New Year's Eve" reveal Eiesland's penchant for yearning, haunted lyrics and bent toward languid, midtempo rock anthems that never quite build beyond an intense and sustained anguish.
Creating music has served throughout the ages as a cathartic way to handle tragedy, therapeutic in the composition of chords and words. The relationship works inversely as well, though, as from the tragedy of death springs musical inspiration. Chicago sextet Scattered Trees, old friends reconnected through the horrors of death, and their debut Sympathy, strike an interesting balance between two, as their lyrics primarily deal with death and acceptance, but also carry with them a transcendent, compelling beauty that only post-tragedy growth and maturation could conjure.