Album of the Week: Alpenglow by Trampled by Turtles
Album of the week Oct 28 - Nov 3
Celebrating 20 years together, Trampled by Turtles has marked the occasion releasing their 10th album, Alpenglow. The band has truly grown up together after forming TBT as young college students. That synergy and collective experience is always apparent in their music and live shows, but is a real standout on this album. Maybe even a main character?
Trampled by Turtles has played all of the notable venues across the United States garnering a cult-like following; from Red Rocks to the Ryman to Grand Rapids Riverfest (obviously had to work that one in there), their fans travel from near and far to see them perform. Those fans are on display in the video for 'It's So Hard to Hold On', featuring footage of people documenting their experiences at Trampled by Turtles shows. There are babies in carriers, littles toddling around, 8 year-olds in front of the stage, couples, groups of friends, dancers, parents and grandparents, all there for the same reason.
Produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, the band (Dave Simonett (guitar), Erik Berry (mandolin), Ryan Young (fiddle), Dave Carroll (banjo), Tim Saxhaug (bass) and Eamonn McLain (cello)) recorded at Tweedy's Loft Studios in Chicago. To me, Alpenglow is one of the bands strongest releases from start to finish. The songs are connected but not the same, really showcasing Simonett's writing abilities. There is a fantastic looseness while being totally on point, a credit to the band's process in recording their music. They know their sound better than anyone, and that comes through - No gloss included. It's authentic with a bit of real life grit, which is how I would describe the members themselves. And the harmonies, oh the harmonies.
Many bands have a hard time capturing in the studio what they do on the stage, or on the other end of the spectrum, difficulty delivering in a live setting what was recorded in the studio. Alpenglow is a great display of what the band delivers on the stage while offering some of their best studio recordings yet.
In the end, the deep understanding they have for each others inclinations (musical and personal), is palpable throughout Alpenglow, released Friday, October 28th.