The Spring Standards write music that taps into the beauty and magic of youth, exploring themes of growing up and moving on. Here with ‘yellow//gold’, which consisting of two emotionally-charged EPs that tell intertwining stories of growing up and leaving home to embark on a new adventure. yellow evokes a sense of nostalgia for the trio’s shared childhoods – they started playing folk music together as teenagers in the rural landscapes of the Pennsylvania/Delaware border— while gold is a declaration of young life in a big city, bursting with energy. Flush with rolling piano, wistful strings, and brittle to booming percussion, the ‘yellow//gold’ double-disc record is due out May 1st on Parachute Shooter Records.
Their songs convey a vast spectrum of emotion — they’re warm and hopeful, yet undeniably dark and melancholy. It is hard to ignore the shining ‘Here We Go’ an upbeat charming song, that has beguiled many, I suspect. It draws you towards discovering more. That is my sorry tale, as way of introduction to The Spring Standards and and the 12 songs of ‘yellow/gold’. Described as modern folk works, but only serves as an umbrella term, like ‘roots music’; like what has gone before, I am no wine expert, but I am getting the glow of alt-country, the smell of indie, with the undercurrent of originality and delicate wonderings.
The first two sons, ‘Only Skin’ and Heavy Home’ keep the flame burning bright for the Spring Standards. ’Chicago’ has a great rousing chorus; recently I have worked on The Dandy Warhols, REEF and Foster The People subsequently I bet anyone 10 bucks that part of this song will be used to advertise something within the next few months. The yellow EP part of this album comes to an end by the end of track 7, but not before the mainly vocal ballad of ‘Enemies’ and the indie with rock tinge of Wildfire Forest’ (which, if it was on an early Snow Patrol album, would not look out of place).
‘yellow’ is a 7-song disc filled with warmth and melancholy, then there is ‘gold’ is a 5-song battle cry from some dark secret place, full of frustration and excitement, tension and relief, Track 8, ‘Nightmare’ of the album, marks the start of a sea change as you would expect. Do I need therapy? I am drawn to the the darker conflict, like water, do you prefer still waters? Or do you prefer the waves or ripples? Any-old-how, ‘Nightmare’ to me is more robust, brighter somehow even a little more imposing. However the next track sounds all Fleetwood Mac circa the early to mid 1980’s presented here with a twist, ‘Watch The Moon’ rattles along at a good pace. ‘Rusty Wheels’ has atmosphere by the shed load, even a lead guitar to boot. Then I guess the main reason I am here in the first place. This has been on Withguitars playlist for the past few weeks and that was no accident, it is the sound of a festival tent that draws another 500 people to see what the sound/fuss is about and then another 10,00 that say they were there for the next decade. ‘Unmarked Pill’ closes the gold EP and the album written for a dozen art house soundtracks, although the “sharp shooter” lyric may see CSI on the hunt – it would not surprise me.
In summary, I quote the biography “juxtaposed, these two EPs capture the energy of a band in a moment of significant growth and self-realization”. I could not sum it up better. ‘yellow//gold’ does detail a band full of ideas, confidence and vive la whatever with either hat, The Spring Standards get my attention and keep it. The album was recorded over the course of 2011 in Brooklyn, at the Sound Like Fire Studios in Ditmar Park; whatever the reason, the trio’s rise since 2008, The Spring Standards mix of colours and music styles, where and when the band recorded the EP’s that made up this album. It all boils down to three musicians that have created a beautiful rainbow, before the storm truly hits. Beguiling and essential. 8.75