After months of Spotify streaming at home, and mobile Bandcamp playing on the go, I finally caved and purchased Tigers on Trains latest full-length, Foundry, and honestly, I don’t know what took me so long. As mentioned in rundown of 2012 favorites, with this album, the band has created something truly special, something I hold very near and dear. The band, which is technically the a side project of the progressive-rock outlet, The Republic of Wolves (largely Billy Duprey and Gregg Andrew Dellarocca) play a version of folk music that is oft overlooked in the increasing Mumford inspired genre; Essentially, they dissolve the style down to its core elements, leaving the mellowed passion but electing to withhold the twang and banjos.
When I say that I hold this album very close, it’s not that Tigers on Trains have touched me with any particular lyric; The album didn’t ring true at an intensely personal time in my life or anything angst-ridden like that. Instead, every time I queue it up, the albums gently enters in and out of my life, marking no trace on my mind upon departure, but uprooting me to my core throughout the duration of it’s visit. No matter my day, good or bad, rain or shine, this album moves me in a way I’ve rarely experienced because of recorded music.
Sure, as I’ve mentioned I’ve connected on an almost creepy level with earth-shattering crooning of certain singer and countless sappy love songs. Other times I’ll listen to a song that resonates so intensely I can literally feel the drum beating in sync with my heart. With Foundry, Tigers on Trains take another toll on my delicate existence. The album walks right into my soul, it’s delicateness wandering in with it’s somber instrumentals and unnaturally calming vocal work. There is something ethereally therapeutic, and maybe even psychiatric, about the whole affair. Simply put, this album, to me, defines true beauty, true grace. It reaffirms my beliefs, not only in music, but also in life itself.
The key to Foundry’s splendor is the oxymoronic but intricate simplicity of the way each song seamlessly intertwines. The lushness of the guitar meshes with the soothing harmonization of the vocals, blending to create the perception of one, multi-faceted instrument. The songs begin and end without much rise or fall, and without any tension whatsoever, their low-tempo soundscapes easing listlessly throughout. The whole album flows together naturally, settling in a musical sweet spot that provides a cozy warmth and homeliness to the overall experience.
Tigers on Trains carry on the tradition of American Folk music in the most traditional, but least implemented fashion: They craft simple but elegant little tunes that gently flow through the world, going where they please and pleasing whomever they encounter.
Check out Tigers on Trains!