Stream/Download: Tawny Peaks - Tawny Peaks (2012)
The Montclair-based twinkly emo group Tawny Peaks has been accruing some impressive hype recently for a good reason. For one thing, they’re a remarkably young band. At least one of their members is still in high school, and their talented producer/guitarist Sam Skinner graduated just a few months ago. But more importantly, Tawny Peaks is also one of the most refreshing and interesting new groups to try their hand at this style in some time, regardless of their age.
With their brand new full length album Tawny Peaks, the five piece group have delivered a somewhat anomalous emo revival record — namely, one that resorts to neither the musical nor lyrical cliches that have become associated with the movement in the past five years. The band accomplishes this by taking a less hard-edged approach than many of their peers, exploring math rock territory openly throughout the record and maintaining an impressive production value throughout. On the spectrum from screamo to American Football, this band definitely sides with Mike Kinsella, employing noodly guitar lines that mostly retain a sense of purpose and vocals that rarely strain further than a pallid whine. The harmonizing vocals of Charlie Perris and Molly Grund stand out often on this record, particularly on tracks like “Collect Calling” and the gentle acoustic number “March Sadness,” which evokes the lush folk soundscapes of The Act Of Estimating As Worthless.
The clear highlight on this release is the closing track “Bring Back The Mountain,” a stirring, heavily emotive 8-minute anthem that distills the band’s mathy ramblings in its first half and builds up to a breathtaking climax in its second. Others, such as the opener “With Steps,” offer a more immediate pop catharsis than the powerful closer. With 8 tracks clocking in at a total of 36 minutes, Tawny Peaks is a relatively ambitious release by punk standards, especially coming on the heels of the Harris Harris EP last year. Although emo bands have a notoriously brief shelf-life, here’s hoping that there’s more to be heard from this particular group.
Stream Tawny Peaks above, and download it from the band’s bandcamp page. They seem to have run out of free downloads, but they’ve included a mediafire link as well if you want it for free.