Tea for Julie – The Sense in Tying Knots
Produced by Ken Erlick
Engineered by Rob Bartleson
Recorded and mixed at Supernatural Sound and Haywire Recording
Portland’s Tea for Julie follows its 2005 debut, Division, with The Sense in Tying Knots. The band’s new release reflects an eclectic blend of influences, from alternative rock to dance pop, and features nicely distorted guitar twang over acoustic guitars, bass and, as termed by the band, “other noises.” It glows with warmth best described as a long series of sweet spots – the timbre of its individual parts pop and shine with a vibrant richness. Combined with introspective lyrics and clever production, The Sense in Tying Knots plays like an experience rather than simply a collection of songs.
“Tying Knots,” the first song on the record, showcases lead singer Michael Deresh’s multifaceted vocals. Nimble but smooth, they quickly jump from a warm verse to a more energetic chorus. There’s a shimmer to the track that’s evident throughout the album. “Get Home,” a more poignant song, utilizes this shimmer in a darker way. The brightness of the verse contrasts noticeably with a melodic descent at the end of the chorus where the music moves into more somber territory. The album closes with “Day & Age,” a piano and vocals number that falls slightly under a minute. Although short, the lyrics still surprisingly feature all the meaningful heft so prominent on the album: “People loved for their faces instead of their glories / Special effects instead of a story / As for time, we’ve been cheated by our day / We’d turn it back if there’s a way.”
Tea for Julie’s strength is in developing a profound musical adventure in the guise of upbeat rock songs. They’ll make you think without bringing you down, and you may even end up dancing along in the process. With The Sense in Tying Knots, the band successfully reveals a world where it’s just the songs and you, a sweet spot that makes Tea for Julie a tea for two. (Self-released)
-Keane Li (more…)