Vows is a duo comprised of Bone Blanket and Nillo. Based out of central NJ, the pair are currently playing shows with three other members of the collective to recreate the sound as a live band experience.
Rooted in ambient and psychedelia Vows created an album of complex and dramatic beauty. Winter’s Grave is composed of 11 tracks. I need to tell you that unless you are familiar with the romance of 70s AM radio and surf music then you might find the concept of Vows a bit far out. All the songs have that dreamy and feel good appeal though there are moments some parts sound atonal..Always an interesting listening experience.
Winter’s Grave opens with A Mile From the Road. You hear that crackling turn table noise, analog tape kind of texture and the male vocals that are toned down to give emphasis to instrumentals . Having grown to bands like Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil, I know I am in a familiar territory. It sets the mood for tracks to follow.
Parallel-Mid -tempo track with soaring melodies , crunchy drumming and Beatles-like harmonies.The singing is reminiscent of Thom Yorke.There is that nice change of tempo around 1:48 that picks up speed.
Born a Wolf-“Black and white I am a wolf at night,starving deeper and wise , I am a lost cause”-interesting lyrics. This song makes me smile. I mean it is one of the most beautiful tracks I heard in this genre that has that radio appeal and confidence brought about my maturity in songwriting. You should check this out. Here is the video:
Unreal Love-Sounds like listening to AM radio in the 70s. More at home with the Beach Boys and Mamas and Papas. It is tied up by a short instrumental Climbing to the song Anywhere You Go-a track that sounds like listening inside a bottle with far away vocals.These two tracks blend seamlessly into each other in fluid continuity.
Queen Baby– Check out the reverb, echo and enough effects to capture that Vows sound. Like being on a hammock under sun- streaked trees, it morphs into Two Sunrises until the title track is reached. Winter’s Grave has that dreamy characteristics that teeters between melancholy and hopeful reverie. Then the album moves to an acoustic guitar based Glory and then closes with Dead Ends. Everything about Winter’s Grave sounds like it has been recorded with a mellotron. It’s the effect that the band are trying to achieve. And they did it with success. I hope this album reaches more listeners who are bent for this kind of style. I am sure they will be gaining converts this year through their live shows and web presence.
Check more the band here: http://vowsmusic.wordpress.com/