Gold Leaves is the new project of Seattle-ite Grant Olsen, who previously served as half of the indie-folk duo Arthur & Yu. While Olsen wrote all the songs on the album, he collaborated with such talents as Jason Q. of Papercuts, Thao Nguyen and members of the Moondoggies. The album endured four years of rewrites, and what has emerged from this long period of incubation is full of doo-wop harmonies, melodic melancholy and warm-yet-ragged vocals. It treads ’60s throwback territory on tracks such as “Honeymoon” while throwing in beautiful and subtle orchestration as well as touches of psychedelia. “Cruel or Kind” is a standout, with its gorgeous and lush guitar arpeggios peppered with fuzz and reverb. Olsen’s lyrics reflect the dissonance you hear on the track with lines like, “If I am just what’s in my mind/ I am both cruel and kind.” These wistful songs have drawn comparisons to Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and Scott Walker, but Olsen has proven that he is a singer-songwriter with the talent to bring a new and intriguing sound to his retro and folksy aesthetic.
By Tobi Vail on 10.02.14 in Features
Tobi Vail talks to Katy Goodman about her folkier influences and complicated relationship with music journalism.
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By Beverly Bryan on 05.13.14 in Reviews
On Hour of the Dawn, the third La Sera album, ex-Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman radiantly emerges from her cocoon of fuzz. She's still playing with girl-group tropes and echoes of '60s pop, but she's transformed them...
By Steven Hyden on 04.08.14 in Reviews
"It's violent/ Good/ 'Cause if it's violent then it's understood," Protomartyr's Joe Casey bellows in a dead-eyed baritone on "Violent," the penultimate track from the Detroit post-punk band's chilling second record, Und...