Big Tree This New Year

Big Tree This New Year
Released as a single earlier this year, Big Tree pulled out all the stops on "This New Year," showing off the soulful flamboyance of lead vocalist Kaila McIntyre-Bader. The question was whether the record would be as good as its title track. The answer is obvious from the get-go. Soaked in ethereal harmonies and resonant strings, opener "This Fall" begins as a languid ode to painful reveries ("I dreamt of her again… sleeping by your side"). As suddenly as an epiphany taking place, the song changes into one of optimism, veering into a psychedelic-jazz-tinged groove with collective chanting bursting outward like fireworks. The rest of the songs on This New Year follow suit, remaining impressive to the end. Creative, memorable beginnings and playful splashes of sound peppering the songs beckon you to revisit. Meanwhile, lyrics steeped in seasonal themes, equally symbolic and confessional, bid your mind to linger within them. Sometimes quiet, often exuberant and always perfectly executed, there's no denying the talented output from this Brooklyn, NY-based quintet. (Independent)