There are few bands currently creating music that are able to imbue their own unique sound with the atmospheric feel of where they live. Other Lives do that with “Tamer Animals”, their latest release on TBD records. “As I Lay My Head Down” creates tremendous soundscapes full of open spaces and lonely feelings. The title speaks not only to sleep but to tremendous emotion, a thread that is continued throughout the entirety of “Tamer Animals”. While there are various linkages and cohesive elements to Other Lives’ disc, the band is able to make a stylistic turn on a dime.
The band – Josh, Jesse, Jenny, Colby, and Jonathon – uses classical instruments like the cello, piano, and organ – to really speak to a larger American tradition. Hitting both temporal and geographic locations, Other Lives continue to speak well to their fans. “Old Statues”, a late-album effort, shows this perfectly. Simply not content to coast through the latter half of “Tamer Animals”, Other Lives continue to innovate even down to the disc’s last minute.
While this album is something that will undoubtedly be in my CD player for months to come, I really think that their live show would present even more impressive versions of these tracks. There is just something that is always present and bubbling under on these studio recordings that I feel would be magnified in a live setting. Other Lives have been working to create the best possible music since 2006, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so for many more years.
Top Tracks: As I Lay My Head Down, Dust Bowl III
Other Lives – Tamer Animals (CD) / 2011 TBD Records / 11 Tracks / http://www.otherlives.com /