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Fruit Tree Foundation – First Edition album review

In early 2010 several of Scotland’s most talented indie-rock and folk musicians came together to collaborate on a project called The Fruit Tree Foundation, and the resulting First Edition will finally be available for purchase on June 28th. The idea for the album arose from the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival with the intention of raising awareness of mental health and challenge perceptions of mental health problems.  The musicians involved are members of such bands as Frightened Rabbit, Twilight Sad, Idlewild, Sparrow and the Workshop, the Delgados, as well as a host of others.

First Edition possesses many of the qualities we’ve come to know and appreciate from Scottish groups, and the variance of input makes it widely ranging in sound and temper.  Rich acoustic and piano driven ballads stand back-to-back with quick-moving pop songs.  “Fall Arch”, a minor-key lamentation, is followed by “All Gone But One”, a track that almost seems like it could have been written by Tom Petty or early REM.  Overall the record has an up-beat, rolling feel that maintains an undercurrent of urgency throughout.  This makes sense considering that the albums was conceived and recorded with a clearly defined mission in mind.  Check out “Favourite Son” for a great example of that ‘urgent’ feeling.

All-in-all it’s a beautifully layered listen.  A few of the arrangements are impressively complex considering the album was only recorded in five days.  It will be interesting to see if they decide to pool their collective talents in the future.

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