Like a forest of smouldering leaves, Falling From Trees is a fantastically ambered-hair family of young performers with a "happy folk" sound who have had a large show presence in the east of England having been at the Southwold Arts Festival and at the Lord Mayor's celebration in Norwich prior to releasing this. The family, Rebecca White (lead vocalist) and brothers Leo (lead harmony), Adam (backing vocals) are all in the group and come following their debut, "On and On", their second EP.
If "Falling from Trees" is "happy folk" then the first track "Words" is a joyous track. It is like a folk anthem with a bouncy, optimistic back arrangement. Rebecca's voice trills on the long notes and casts itself pretty far with an interesting, lightly rasp biscuit quality that engages the listener. There is an unusually good counterbalance with the main vocals and backing vocals on this track, and I suspect a characteristic of the group as a whole. The lyrics are pretty good too with a nice rhyming structure and some nice mid line rhymes, "When I think of you, it's all I do and I hope it sets me free".The main guitar line is sufficiently jaunty, yet precise and the track has a slight 60's vibe, but with more urgency of modern music. A nice opening track.
"You and the Queen" is a bit more Bluesy, it takes you to the card tables and brings you comfortable seat. Once again the lyrics are good here, one of the band's strong points is certainly the rhythm and pacing which I have no doubt would go down well at their live shows. "This Story Ain't Mine" is a slower number and quite heartfelt. Different to the other tracks on the EP, the voice on this song is more blurred and indistinct, whether this is a choice along with the content of the song or not, it is equally unclear. To myself, the song would be given more justice if it was less murky; it is unusual because in the final section (about 4/5 in), it finds more clarity than what has come before. On the other hand, it is certainly different to the other tracks on the album and is the exception to the rule.
"Wouldn't have it any other way" is certainly a stronger number, in fact it's better than the opening track, and the best showcase of Rebecca's voice on the disc. The chorus is exceptionally catchy, the harmonies are light touch but equally effective, there is more variation in the tone and movement of her voice and the song demonstrates more of a balance. There is the main almost Country pace to the tune, and quieter moments that bring a nice structure. Some might say it is formulaic, but being no stranger to lack of convention I would say it works very well here. "Rainfall" is more experimental but a nice, soul-searching number where their deviation from the brightness of some of their other songs shows good promise towards the band's versatility.
There is certainly potential here, listeners who prefer their folk with a dash of easy-listening will be well away with their music. As I said, it is optimistic. They are particularly strong in their songwriting; the songs make good use of acoustic instruments and are generally quite light without being mellow and toothless. Rebecca's singing voice is good, and the harmonies are very good indeed with some additional solid and sharp guitar playing. A dividing point for listeners might be the particular singing trill that Rebecca employs when holding notes (on some tracks more pronounced than others). It is characterful and works well but occasionally has the potential to distract in songs that might be more lyrically facile, so it is definitely in the bands interests to continue gathering their inspirations for the interesting rhymes that appear throughout.
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