Review: Denali

(Jade Tree)

Another fine Richmond, Virginia band to review. That’s two this month. What’re the odds? Who cares. Jade Tree has struck again with the release of this ethereal stunner. Intoxicating female vocals grace this surprising debut, drawing back the curtains to reveal a band inhabiting the mysterious spaces between the lush sounds of Björk, Portishead, the Cardigans and 12 Rounds. With such an evocative sound it’s hard to believe this is a group formed around the desire of newcomer, Maura Davis. That older brother and Engine Down singer/guitarist Keeley Davis is a part of this wonderful group couldn’t hurt either. Led hand-in-hand through the stark soundscapes surrounding Denali, emotions are hard to ignore. Melancholy and woe punctuate the eerie guitar and crawling bass, swaying above a shroud of authentic and electronic drumbeats. Not entirely limited to glacial ballads, somber rockers like ‘French Mistake’, ‘You File’ and ‘Gunner’ swoop in to rescue us from a fate worse than sadness. Ultimately entranced and left with the longing to hear Denali’s gloomy secrets again, these ten shimmering songs might help to dull the pain. Or the joy.