Seryn – This Is Where We Are [Album Review]

by Woody on June 1, 2011

A fan named Callie had emailed us about Seryn way back in January. Told us that we would definitely like them based on the other music we like. Turns out Callie was right. Thanks Callie. It also turns out that I have the memory of a jellyfish as I promptly forgot about them. I’d like to thank my kids, Teddy, Rosie and Hank, for turning my brain into mush.

So who is Seryn? Glad you asked. They are a 5 piece folkie-Americana outfit out of Denton, TX. Yes, that is the hometown of Midlake. Much like The Low Anthem, they seem to have a penchant for playing musical chairs with instruments from song to song and the music is laid out in beautiful arrangements with lovely harmonies. Also, like The Low Anthem, there seems to be a great deal of thought in the songwriting process. But in terms of sound, they really remind me The Wilderness of Manitoba and in spots, Typhoon.

Their songs have a way of slowly building and taking, long, meandering turns. Many of the tunes clock in at over 5 minutes with gentle ebbs and flows,  as if you’re floating and experiencing beauty for the first time. This feeling is best illustrated in two tunes that land in the middle of the album. You’ll hear gentle acoustic and banjo picking over some wonderful harmonies just repeating “Towering.” Enter some violin and it serves as an interlude in the album. I was literally drifting off into a peaceful coma when, at about 2:50 in, I heard a gentle voice count to six. I thought it was Jesus coming to get me. Alas, it was the second part of this gorgeous tune that builds into a gentle climax before letting you down oh so easy.

“Our Love” carries many of the same characteristics but is vastly different. It’s a slow build, this time using the deep cello and a repetitive simple guitar riff. Much like Other Lives they combine simplicity with complex ideas to create some unique artistry. When “Our Love” slowly comes out of its bridge around 3:30 minutes it, you are treated to something to special.

I just name-checked four of my favorite new bands around in this review so that should give you an idea of how much I dig these guys. I suppose they just need some hipster cred and then everybody will hop on the bandwagon and they’ll really start making some noise. One other reviewer even compared them to early Arcade Fire. Oh no they didn’t. Oh yes they did!

Seryn – We Will All Be Changed

Promo Video: Seryn – Features “River Song”

Seryn: “This Is Where We Are” from Jon Todd Collins on Vimeo.

 

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

showlush June 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

Ah, fantastic! I could go on and on and on about Seryn, so it’s a special treat to have one of my very favorite blogs do it for me. Thank you, HearYa. Much, much love, Callie.

Spencer June 2, 2011 at 5:40 am

I really like this band. The recording are good quality and great to hear. The live stuff is not so good. But hey i’m glad of the link.

showlush June 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Perhaps you caught them on an off night, Spencer? Because the feedback I’ve heard most often is that the recordings – while incredible in their own right – fail to completely capture the energy and feel of their live sets. To each their own, of course.

DRoberts June 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

They did a really good album. I could see how it would be hard to produce the same quality at a live show. The sprinkled banjo in their songs sends a jolt through me. Hearya in the last two weeks have helped me discover Ponderosa and Seryn. I am beyond grateful.

DR

Michele Quarton March 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Really enjoyed Seryn music, to me it is a blend of new age and western country. Great!

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