Blind Pilot – And Then Like Lions (album review)

by Woody on August 11, 2016


Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson

Blind Pilot came out of nowhere back in 2008 with the tales of touring up and down the West Coast on bikes and their amazing debut 3 Rounds and A Sound. Tours followed including a stop in at HearYa World HQ for a session. Fronted by Israel Nebeker’s warm voice, the tracks just eased into your being and nestled in for a comfy stay. A few years later, they followed up with their sophomore effort, We Are The Tide. It was good but there wasn’t that deep connect I felt with 3 Rounds. It was just a tad too poppy for my taste. As years went by with no output, I was worried that we’d lost them for good.

But I’m happy to report, that they’re back at it with And Then Like Lions. And even happier to say, that And Then Like Lions has nestled into my soul just like 3 Rounds did. Lions was written and composed by Nebeker over the course of three years of hardship as he lost his father and saw the end of a 13 year old relationship. The songs come across as if a raw nerve is being exposed and that he’s letting you share the hurt. When an artist lets his/her guard down and lets you in, it usually results in something great. And that’s what happened here.

My favorite song on the album, What Is Yet, differs the most from their usual game plan. It also is a tune of healing . It starts with a gentle horn coda before Nebeker’s guitar eases into the equation. Then Nebeker delivers some of his best vocals of his career. And just as you feel the song is building to a big uptick, they take it down a bit as Nebeker delivers the goods; telling you to “Breathe in the sun,”

The closer, Like Lions, is sure to be a concert favorite. It is a slow building track that will most certainly elicit the chills as you see the band play it live. Just like it closes the album, it is an apt closing song for a show.

There is so much to enjoy about this album. Brilliant writing, inspired playing and production that gives Nebeker’s vision room to breathe. Run, don’t walk to pick this one up.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Blind Pilot is here

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