Listen to: Trampled by Turtles, ‘Wild Animals’

Listen to: Trampled by Turtles, ‘Wild Animals’

Leigh MichaelMonday,14 July 2014

The Snap:

Trampled by Turtles, the iconic bluegrass band hailing from Duluth, is at long last unveiling Wild Animals on NPR First Listen. It’s been long-awaited since 2012’s Stars and Satellites, which has held a place on Billboard’s bluegrass charts for two whopping years.

The album makes its official debut on Tuesday, July 15th. Stream the tracks on NPR, then head over to iTunes or Amazon to add them to your permanent collection.

The Download:

Trampled by Turtles don’t seem like they’re completely at home in the studio. I mean this as a not-so-backhanded compliment — they’re a band that feeds off the audience, and that exceptional energy shouldn’t be wasted amidst a bunch of recording equipment and sans crowd. American Songwriter puts it aptly: “They’re kingpins of the fast-pickin’, finger-flyin’ scene, and like most bands that’ve been on the road for more than a decade, they’re the sort of well-oiled group you need to see live.” The magic that they work onstage speaks for itself: An average of 95% of their shows completely sell out before the performance day.

Wild Animals offers a completely different portrait of this raucous crew. The album leads with its title track [watch below], a mellow, mesmerizing piece that feels like it could be a lullaby for a fussy baby. This isn’t a bad thing — it’s a beautiful piece, with instrumental and lyrical swells that seem to mirror undulating waves. But it isn’t bluegrass rock ‘n roll.

“Hollow” and “Silver Light” have a similarly mellow, introspective vibe, and it’s only at “Come Back Home” that things start to perk up a little bit. It’s beautiful — but it’s a far cry from the foot-stomping likes of “Wait So Long.”

I really love this album – And I think it’s going to be an album that will get a lot of play time on my stereo system, both this summer and for years to come. That being said, this album solidifies that Trampled by Turtles has diverged into two unique bands: The frenetically energetic live group, and the laconically mesmerizing studio one. Which one do you prefer?

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Hat Tips:

Trampled by Turtles, NPR First ListenAmerican Songwriter, Image Credit: Flickr

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