Climbing Trees is a 5-musician ensemble defining their style as “Cymrucana”, a fusion of folk, rock and roll, blues and gospel, all of which culminates in a rich and joyfully scenic sound with the raw arresting charm of the Welsh Valleys. Their homeland is evidently a core element of the band, with their first full-length album titled “Hebron” after a small town in Carmarthenshire. The release comprises 10 tracks of rustic melodies and earnest lyrics, each leaving you in mind of rolling hills and woodland streams. The album showcases a remarkably diverse array of voices from the band’s arsenal of 3 lead vocalists, each lending a unique character to their respective tracks yet maintaining a compatibility that makes the harmonies wonderfully rich and unified.
Climbing Trees-Burning Candle (Track 02)
The chord-heavy ‘Burning Candle’ (Track 02) is a real nod to the gospel and blues influences in Climbing Trees’ sound with its expansive vocals and a rhythmic melody that takes up a conversation with your soul. The track is typical of the the band’s atmospheric musical style, which also really shines where the vocals are fully harmonic, like in ‘River Home’ (Track 05) which has a similar bluesy feel.
Climbing Trees play around with song structure a great deal in ‘Hebron’. There are some tracks with a more traditional verse and chorus based anatomy like ‘Gone to Sea’ (Track 07), with an infectious hook and simple lyrics hinting at more commercial appeal. In other tracks like ‘Ahab’ (Track 08) the vocal exists as an instrumental accent rather than the vehicle for lyrical meaning. This particular style communicates a real self-awareness of ability from Climbing Trees, which allows them to confidently and consistently play to their strengths. The album also features entirely instrumental tracks like the gentle closing piano track ‘Nos’ (Track 10), charmingly translated from Welsh as ‘night’, or the eponymous track, ‘Hebron’ (Track 06). The latter in particular is a testament to Climbing Trees skill at eliciting an emotional response from only the use of their instruments. It’s a climbing joy – 4 minutes and 48 seconds of a smile that creeps to a grin.
Climbing Trees-Hebron (Track 06)
This album announces Climbing Trees to the world. It’s an exhibition of musical talent, ingenuity and promise. Even looking at it without subjective interpretation it’s quite simply a bloody good listen. Folk seems to be the up-and-coming cool kid of the new music scene and it’s refreshing to see a genre that demands originality and musical accomplishment increasingly afforded some street-cred’ in an environment where it’s often been snatched up by saggy-crotched trousers and auto-tune. Climbing Trees are very much here to rule the school… and they brought their Welsh dragon.