Great to be somewhere that has a local music scene. Hannover indie-folk band Leaves and Trees released their first EP on April 23rd. The release show/party at LUX was full by the time we arrived (from a concert of Max Reger's choral music at the Marktkirche by way of the Pfannekuchen Haus) so we hung around sheltering from the wind in front of a locked door facing the Schwarzer Bär tram stop, that appeared to be next to the stage as it transmitted the sound quite well. Only a couple of beers from a nearby kiosk would have been necessary to complete the Just Kids Too Young to Get Inside picture, but we didn't bother... good sounds coming through the door, though. Nice arrangements, with good use of cello. I'll buy the EP at Bandcamp (where it can also be streamed).
The signature tune is Who Is That Man, for which a very well done video that tells a story that goes beyond the lyrics, is available on YouTube (you'll get an accurate impression of the local woodlands from watching it):
There's also a nice video of lead singer Fabian Baumert singing another song from the EP at a singer-songwriter slam at local club Kulturpalast Linden:
I don't think every post about a band's new EP needs to be a "review", comparing it to the writer's favorite bands and the world's top artists, etc... and opining about a band's chance of "making it" instead of just enjoying their music. Nevertheless, since this EP and the Who Is That Man? video evince very high production values that might suggest eventual goals wider than just local or regional success, a few comments along those lines. I think that's not an implausible possibility. I don't really know what the indie-folk scene or possibilities are these days---but a little investigation suggests there are some pretty nice festivals and things around Europe with bands I enjoyed checking out on the web. (The opening band for L&T's LUX show was one.) Maybe there was a moment a few years back, when with Mumford and Sons and Bon Iver and such, indie-folkish singer-songwriter music was going mainstream, and maybe that moment is over, making some modest success for this type of band, that sort that can lead to an extended career for a band making a living from music, tougher. I like all the songs on the EP, like the overall band sound, and like Fabian Baumert's singing. A little bit of gentle, almost Nordic North-German melancholy in the mix is very nice. Uncomplicated, but not completely predictable, song and chord structure, beautifully arranged. Relaxed tempos and feel in general. The sound on the EP seems very good, possibly a little crunchy in the treble but I have only streamed it yet; the FLAC and CD may fix that. I'm reluctant to say such a thing, but I do think that to have a broader---say, international---appeal, it would be good if Mr. Baumert's accent when singing in English, which is generally quite good, were even more natural. Some of the lyrics are hard to understand, and in this kind of music that can be crucial. On a light note, it is risky to include "Whoa", let alone "Whoa-oah-oh", in lyrics, especially when you're playing acoustic guitar. It works out fine here.
If you have a local band of this quality, go to their shows, buy their music, and support them. Here's hoping Leaves and Trees get the opportunity to write and play much more and continue to grow.