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Album Review

Scattered Trees' 2011 album Sympathy continues the heartfelt sadcore and poignant melodic pop the outift has favored since its 2004 debut, Hollohills, when it was primarily a solo project for lead singer/songwriter Nate Eiesland. Having developed since then into a quintet featuring Nate's wife, keyboardist Alissa Eiesland, Sympathy does showcase the group's larger, chamber rock aesthetic while still retaining a kind of intimate sound. Tracks like the group harmony-heavy "Bury the Floors" and the electronic-infused "A Conversation About Death on New Year's Eve" reveal Eiesland's penchant for yearning, haunted lyrics and bent toward languid, midtempo rock anthems that never quite build beyond an intense and sustained anguish. Similarly, the loping, heartbreaking single "Love and Leave" and the comparatively exuberant "Four Days Straight" combine a kind of post-Coldplay, post-Death Cab for Cutie influence with catchy hooks and dramatic rock solo sections. Elsewhere, on such cuts as the gentle, ukulele-driven title track and the guttingly melancholy acoustic ballad "Where You Came From" Eiesland still seems enamored with the solo, bedroom recording approach and in that sense brings to mind the work of the late Elliott Smith. However understated the band aesthetic may seem on Sympathy, Scattered Trees nonetheless have a nice group spark on record that only benefits from Eiesland's own specific vision.

Customer Reviews

Legitimately good music

Gentle, emotionally powerful indie/rock pop. Powerful melodies and harmonies. If you like Band of Horses, Death Cab, Bright Eyes, etc., check this out.

It's not enough..

to just buy one song.
Get the whole album.

Why are they not more popular?

You know it's a good sign if you love every song on an album the first time through. This album is that good. Definitely buy the WHOLE ALBUM. I think it's not as popular because there is not one song that sticks out. This is the definition of a well flowing album that is beyond amazing. Get the album right now. I mean, check out that album art!


Formed: 2003 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Indie rock outfit Scattered Trees make yearning, heartfelt music centered around lead singer/songwriter Nate Eiesland. The group initially formed in 2003 after Eiesland moved to Illinois from Minnesota and wrote a song a month, which culminated in the release of a 2004 debut, Hollohills. Eiesland eventually filled out the ensemble with bassist Ryne Estwing and guitarist Justin Eisenbraun and began work on new material. In the wake of the death of Eiesland's grandfather, Scattered Trees released their...
Full Bio
Sympathy, Scattered Trees
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Customer Ratings