Sub Pop records are a label with an enormous amount of history. Formed in Seattle in the 1980’s, they have been home to some of the most influential grunge filled bands including L7, Soundgarden and the kings of the genre, Nirvana. For the present bands under the label’s wing, it must be an over-whelming prospect to be signed to a label that has played such a large part in not just thrusting grunge into our lives, but one that has such cultural significance in the music world.
Among the bands hoping to keep the good name of Sub Pop alive in the current musical climate is Blitzen Trapper, a folk rock band that have been together since the year 2000. Based in the city of Portland, Blitzen Trapper are a sextet who have achieved great critical acclaim in their home country, as well as forging a name for themselves here in the UK. “The Tree” is taken from their latest full length offering Destroyer Of The Void, which was released in the summer of last year.
If you have never heard of Blitzen Trapper before then you should beware; these boys are not for the black-hearted, fast-paced, skull crushing community. “The Tree” is a perfect example. Softer than a pool filled with pillows, “The Tree” glides through you ears in a wispy, dreamlike state, constructed mainly by the floating guitars and gentle tones of lead singer Eric Earley’s tender vocals. Guest vocalist Alela Diane also brings her delicate sounds to the table, complimenting the Trapper’s sound beautifully. Its hard not to be drawn into the tranquillity of it all. At first you may miss the beauty of the music being created but, after a few listens you begin to realise that not all music has to be raucously loud to make an impression.
With its tender lyrics concerning love and the waves of calm that wash around you after listening to it, “The Tree” is a track that epitomizes the idea of indie folk and uses it to create something within the genre, keeping itself entirely their own. They might not have the intensity of some bands on Sub Pops’s past roster list (or the influential power) but Blitzen Trapper are a band flying the Sub Pop flag for the present and the present has never sounded so promising.
Original article first appeared on Altsounds website on 10/02/11