Other Lives: Tamer Animals – review

(Play It Again Sam)

Oklahoma's Other Lives share Fleet Foxes' ethereal harmonies and the National's sense of erupting, turbulent majesty, yet their second album has a widescreen, filmic quality different from both. Tamer Animals feels like a dreamlike American journey, the heat rising over distant sands and the flies gathering on the windscreen. Featuring clarinet, bassoon, trumpet and French horn reminiscent of Arthur Lee's Love, the songs are meticulously, beautifully crafted. Some are so instant and familiar you'd swear you'd heard them before: the troubled, haunting Dust Bowl III, or the enormous twang of Old Statues, which could be Pink Floyd relocated to a dusty landscape. Other bands may be more original, but few are this wonderfully evocative: when Jesse Tabish asks, "Is there any way to get this weight off my skin?" you end up creating your own stories around his words. This is sublime, transportive music to spend hours with.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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