Boundless chamber

While Daniel Van Cortlandt is undeniably the leader of this outfit, he gives his mates lots of room to roam. These tightly-wound songs overflow with emotion and energy. What could have easily been a sterile exercise in chamber pop (Van Cortlandt's songs have fussy underpinnings) is instead a raucous and joyful affair.

St. Van Cortlandt
The Lion Tree EP
There are only four songs here, but the range and spread gives this short set the feel of a full-length. The sheer number of musical and lyrical ideas within four-to-five minutes is breathtaking. This is overstuffed music at its finest.

I had an immediate positive reaction to this set, but it took me a few listens to really figure out why. First off, I've reviewed a ton of EPs lately, and I'm beginning to wonder if that's because four-to-six awesome songs trump four-to-six awesome songs plus other stuff. And then I tell myself that I'm way overthinking things. The four awesome songs here are more than worth a mention.

Perhaps at its finest when all the pieces don't quite fall together, The Lion Tree is a tumbling, blistering thing of beauty. Just let it wash over you.

Jon Worley

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