by Nathan Cardiff

Beautifully folky Hello Biplane have delivered a fantastic record upon us this Spring. The airy, bouncing tunes feature a terrific tinge of country-western, but what truly knocks you over are their harmonies.

Album opener “Fairy Land” is a gem; the sleepy verses are punctuated with a chorus you almost dread, because it just rips you in half. “Time for the night, lets ride to the show/And play till our hearts explode” they sing in a devastating harmony. The hypnotizing acoustic guitar is supported by a soft warble and little percussion. It all glides in a lovely manner until it fades for a brief moment… and then that goddamn chorus comes back. If it doesn’t break your heart every time, you’re made of stone. And if it does, good luck trying to not keep listening.

The dual vocalists typically trade off on Line’s verses; each equally strong. “That Ship” has its bonfire sing-along strum, with the vocals floating up like smoke. And like a bonfire, the song sticks to your clothes. The dusty “One Room” wraps you in its imagery perfectly (“In one room, where the windows jam”), but not to capture claustrophobia; rather the warmth of that special space in the house that’s all your own. Maybe that attic that lets the sun in at just the right angle, covered in cobwebs.

As you know I’m partial to sad songs, but Hello Biplane will have you bobbing along with their upbeat “Oh No” and the killer solo in the middle of the track; the vocals strain at their peak and their message of a brief relationship. And the foot-stomping closer “The Line” shows that Hello Biplane won’t be contained to just folk; they can rock when they want to.

Line is a stunningly gorgeous record, but more than anything shows the range Hello Biplane holds. From the dreamy “Fairy Land” to the wild “The Line,” the record drifts from one dynamic to the next.

Favorite Tracks: “Fairy Land” & “One Room”

by Nathan Cardiff