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Album review: 'The Saplings' 

The Saplings

"The Saplings"

Self-released

thesaplingsmusic.bandcamp.com

I'm not sure I've ever heard anything quite like The Saplings' eponymous EP. It's pop without too much sweet. It's nine-part harmony without setting foot in church. This Rochester-based nonet's record is gutsy and smart; I mean, what an oddly beautiful choice of melody and interwoven harmony. It positively shines with innocence.

Production-wise, "The Saplings" comes off not so much dense as lush. It has plenty of pop appeal with the promise of hearing new things after multiple listens. This is largely due to the constant melodious swirling amidst the pleasantly adroit instrumentation. It meanders but never sounds lost or disingenuously complex. And Jesus, check out the horns, why don't ya?

The Saplings' brass section adds bold blasts of color when appropriate, while at other times honking a call and response that is a downright healing procedure and practice that some horn-centric bands forget. The band has the power to blow doors off, but rather it opts for a casually reserved take. The band is going places, trust me. The Saplings are perfect and so is this record.

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