Number 39 on my countdown of top 40 albums is Oh Tall Tree in the Ear by the Chapel Hill based band Roman Candle. My Senior year of high school, I did an internship with my worship pastor at the church I was going to. He was an excellent guy and it was an awesome experience, but punctuality was not necessarily his strongest trait. Many mornings, I would be in the parking lot outside of a locked church office listening to the radio. One of the radio stations I listened to (WSGE out of Dallas, NC) used to play a lot of local music and up-and-coming bands. One particular morning, this song came on the radio:
No offense to local bands or independent music radio stations (both of which I avidly support), but sometimes listening to a slew of independent local bands for an hour can be the folk rock doldrums. When this song came on, I instantly snapped to attention as it was refreshingly different and more harmonically interesting than most folk rock, but it was still wonderfully catchy. My Dad frequently listened to the same station and I asked him if he had heard that song and he had and he liked it also. Later that week, I heard another song by the same band that hit me in the same way “Eden Was a Garden” had, and it went a little something like this:
Well, as it happens, things get busy and items slip your mind, and the band Roman Candle slipped mine for a few months after my initial excitement about these two songs. But, Christmas morning 2009, my Dad got me the album both of these songs belonged to: Oh Tall Tree in the Ear – which is a reference to a lyric in the song “Eden Was a Garden” above. I fell in love with this record. I suppose one could describe it as folk rock, but it has more layers and harmonic interest than your typical folk rock album. Additionally, the songs on this album are way catchier than your run-of-the-mill folk rock. Well over half of the songs have choruses that you will be singing weeks after you listen to them. Additionally additionally, the album has a fabulously cohesive sound without each song sounding exactly alike. It is mixed in a very straightforward manner where it is very easy to hear the layers of keyboard tracks as well as the acoustic guitar strumming that holds many of the songs together. The following song is called, “Woke Up this Morning” and aside from being my favorite song on the album, it is also one of my absolute favorite love songs. I included it on the mix CD I played in my car the night I proposed to my now wife.
Unfortunately, time once again got away from me and I lost track of Roman Candle over the past four years. However, in writing this blog post about them, I found out they have two more full length albums and one of them (The Wee Hours Review) shot to the top of my “To Buy” list. I look forward to finally having some new music from this band which I have loved for many years!
That does it for number 39 on the count down. Number 38 will be posted later this week as this post you are currently reading was supposed to be finished a few days ago! Whoops! Your hint about album number 38 is that it includes one of the most talented vocalists in all of Christian music. Have an excellent few days until the next blog post! Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!