Tall Tall Trees is Mike Savino, a banjo player and singer from NYC. Savino is quite self-reliant; his first two albums were released on his own label, Good Neighbor Records, and he is known for putting on an innovative one-man show with the use of looping machines and effects. Two years past the issue of his sophomore album, Tall Tall Trees has a new EP to release titled The Seasonal.
There is plenty of layered sound and an abundance of texture. All songs feature Savino’s banjotron, the instrument that keeps the banjo playing in a loop. Because of the banjo loops, a sort of entrancing quality can be heard. Savino also wrote all of the lyrics on the originals. But as they say, “No man is an island”; even though Tall Tall Trees is a solo act, many musicians lent a hand to the composition of this album. Philip Mayer contributed drums and percussion, and Kishi Bashi appeared on a track.
“How Did It Get Dark So Fast?” depicts autumn and changing seasons and speaks of disappointment. The song features rapid banjo and pounding drums. Starting off with a cool drumbeat and graceful melody, “Picture Picture” is lighthearted, and uses brighter percussion such as the cymbals, distorted vocals and psychedelic sounds. You can hear the most amount of “pure banjo,” in other words, what sounds like the least use of effects, in “Say Something Real!” The track is fun and features a catchy, youth-inspired melody that is reminiscent of a nursery rhyme. Ending with a cover of “My Girls” by Animal Collective, his interpretation keeps the euphoric ambiance, but brings in an element of folk and simplified vocals.
Tall Tall Trees has a charm that can be heard through the music. His live act is reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s well-known man-and-loop station show, but replace the guitar with the banjo and you’ve got transfixing folk music. This album is short, cheery and simply an easy listening.
In A Word: Trippy