Today marks the long-awaited release of Towers and Trees’ first LP “The West Coast.” Luckily for me, I got a hold of a pre-release copy last week for backing their Kickstarter this past October. Already a fan of their melodic harmonies, soulful lyrics, and stellar live show, I was eager to hear “The West Coast.”
I downloaded it and listened, and listened, and listened. I let the perfectly produced tracks, the powerful bass lines, immaculate guitars, and humbling strings wash over me as I imbibed the pure intoxication of keys, horns, and vocals.
However, the more I listened to “The West Coast,” the more I felt I was being beckoned to share in something greater, something fierce and deeply personal. Like its namesake, there is more to “The West Coast” once you release yourself into its wake. The emotion in the lyrics, tonality, right down to the careful instrumentation choices, is an evocative journey that, like the strongest undertow, will pull you in and sweep you away when you least expect it.
The album starts with the simple, happy innocence of “West Coast Man,” a song full of hopes, dreams, and the inescapable naïveté of adolescence. Once you’ve dipped your toes in, you venture into “FREE” a happy tune that follows our narrator though the exuberant feeling of change and new beginnings.
Feeling confident that you know where the album is going, you wade up to your belly button — you know, that part where you’re in the water but you haven’t fully committed to the chill you’ll feel when you dive in — when suddenly, the aptly named “Tide I” sweeps by and the mood changes, plunging you into its depths. The easy joy of “West Coast Man” is gone as the album progresses into its depths exploring themes of loss, change, and the agony of a broken heart, all culminating in the standout track “Bad Heart,” a stripped down lament that’s more full of soul (sole?) than the entire Pacific.
Without a chance to surface for air, you’re swept into a journey of loss, remorse, anger, and sadness leading into the emotional pleas of “Last Breath” to the final enthymematic release of “Hearts on Fire (Letting Go).”
From front to back, the entire album is pure catharsis; an ode to embracing loss and learning how to love, and be loved, again. Just as the earth and moon have come together to control the ebb and flow of the tide, Towers & Trees have come together in perfect synchrony to master “The West Coast.”
“The West Coast” is not a self-indulgent geographical brag to those who may live elsewhere. It is a siren’s call to change, to growth, and to becoming a better version of yourself. Just let go and see where the current takes you.
Congratulations Towers & Trees. This album is a labour of love, and it shows. Pure aural ecstasy.
Grab your copy here:
Am I still listening to the stripped-down, soulful yearning and impossibly tight sounds of “Bad Heat” right this second? Yes, probably. Pop on your water wings because this is about to get deep: