Roman Candle – Oh Tall Tree in the Ear (CD)

It took a few albums, but Chapel Hill’s reining alt country heroes Roman Candle have just turned in their iPod killer – not a single track is worth passing over. Oh Tall Tree in the Ear is 11 tracks of beautifully-crafted, well-written country-fused, roots-based indie rock reminiscent of some everyone from classic Big Star to the first couple of Wilco records.

The trio – made up of brothers Skip and Logan Matheny and Skip’s wife Timshel, has bounced around various labels for the past decade or so, spending time on Hollywood Records and V2, while execs tried to figure out how to best sell the band. Now on a small indie label, the band’s songs like the sober “Heartbreak” or the sing-along album opener “Eden was a Garden,” go so much further than a well-thought out marketing campaign. With major record labels and modern radio currently going through a death spiral, Roman Candle’s latest is the perfect soundtrack to listen to as you watch the wreckage play out.

Top tracks: “Eden was a Garden” and Heartbreak”

Rating: 8.7 out of 10

Roman Candle – Oh Tall Tree in the Ear/CD/2009/11 tracks/Carnival Music/www.romancandlemusic.com

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