Friend of All the World The Wild

Friend of All the World The Wild
Montreal singer-songwriter Rob Cole returns for his sophomore release under the new collective incarnation of Friend of All the World. The quintet, vetted in part through an ad on Craigslist, as well as having to pass a trial run for the recording of Cole's debut, feature some great musicianship, elevating Cole's song craft with lush instrumentation and tight arrangements. Tracks off The Wild are made playful with the sprightly tones of a ukulele and glockenspiel, given warmth and depth by the violin, cello and harmonium. Together, they manage to raise the album above the moody, granola typecast it might have easily fallen into, given their gentle folk harmonies and lyrics leaning heavily on forest-inspired poetry. Sprouting from Montreal's fertile indie-folk scene, Friend of All the World may not be leading the pack, but The Wild at least sees them keeping pace with their contemporaries. (Independent)