Coat Of Arms

Written by: TL on 08/02/2012 23:46:58

One of my favourite EP's that I reviewed last year was "Belvedere", the debut EP by Caravela, a duo from the States consisting of Moving Mountains guitarist Frank Graniero and his brother Stephen, who employ a solid batch of instruments in creating an indie/folk/pop sound that is quite subtle and casual compared to Frank's daytime duties in Moving Mountains. The guys got an album out right before year's end as well, called "Coat Of Arms", and this, obviously, is its review.

On said record, the brothers continue to explore a sound that I presently find most comparable to the likes of Copeland, Emanuel And The Fear, Lydia and Dashboard Confessional. They do so subtly, sensitively and with a playful elegance that is a joy to listen to, and you get the idea that Frank brings some of the desire for intricate compositions with him into this project. The whole thing is just pretty like the sun dawning on a hazy morning, perhaps over some clear mountain creek bed. Very nice, wouldn't you think?

The instrumentals then, are all pretty and delicate, and meanwhile the singing is also very good, offering a passionate contrast (and sounding a bit like Chris Carabba from Dashboard) to the at times introverted and intricate musical backdrop. Songs like opening duo "Ghost And L'Ucello" and "Royal" will quickly feel like old friends greeting you when you put the record on, as does a later highlight such as "On Your Shores". Mostly however, it's "Coat Of Arms" that just makes me feel like I want to fall apart and die because it sounds so damn good when the intertwining guitars finally give way for the super frail vocals singing "you don't have to go! we can be alone! nobody has to know!".

That song alone I think is worth listening to this album for, but even though it, and others like the ones I mentioned, are really great listens, I must admit that some of the ones that remain have not enamored me quite as much. Don't get me wrong, it's still highly enjoyable music - my favourite for the cold mornings at the moment in fact - but they just don't grab the attention quite the way Caravela do when they're at their best. Hence the album has a sliiiight crack in the form of inconsistency, which the EP didn't have to bother with at its short length. It's a small complaint though, and I certainly still recommend you give "Coat Of Arms" a chance.

Download: Coat Of Arms, Royal, Ghost And L'Uccello, Hundred Years
For The Fans Of: Dashboard Confessional, Copeland, Emanuel And The Fear, Lydia

Release Date 20.12.2011

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