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ESPERS

Prog Folk • United States


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Espers biography
Espers is a psych folk band from Philadelphia that is part of the emerging indie folk scene. They formed in 2002 as a trio of singer-songwriter Greg Weeks, Meg Baird and Brooke Sietinsons but later expanded to a sextet including Otto Hauser, Helena Espvall and Chris Smith. Their music is reminiscent of late-sixties British folk as well as many contemporary folk acts such as Six Organs of Admittance and Whysp. Most of the band's members have also featured on recordings by a number of other folk artists such as Nick Castro and Vashti Bunyan and as a result have become an important part of the psych-folk revival.

They released their self-titled debut in 2004 and followed that with an album of cover songs, The Weed Tree, in 2005. This release featured the band's versions of songs by artists as diverse as Nico, The Durutti Column and Blue ÷yster Cult. In 2006 the band released their third full-length album, II (presumably so called because it was their second album of original material), on Drag City Records.

Bio taken from Wikipedia



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Discography:
Espers (2004)
The Weed Tree (2005)
II (2006)

Espers official website

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Buy ESPERS Music


EspersEspers
Locust 2004
Audio CD$40.62
$4.99 (used)
IIII
Drag City 2006
Audio CD$59.36
$7.49 (used)
IIIIII
Drag City 2009
Audio CD$12.57
$14.52 (used)
Weed TreeWeed Tree
Locust 2005
Audio CD$67.44 (used)
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ESPERS shows & tickets


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ESPERS discography


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ESPERS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.58 | 24 ratings
Espers
2003
3.87 | 33 ratings
II
2006
3.57 | 15 ratings
III
2009

ESPERS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ESPERS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ESPERS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ESPERS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 10 ratings
The Weed Tree
2005

ESPERS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Espers by ESPERS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.58 | 24 ratings

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Espers
Espers Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars Part of a substantial multi continental "wyrd folk" movement, where even "weird" has to be spelled subversively, ESPERS seems a throwback to the acid tinged psych of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their contemporary counterpart in Germany might be FAUN, and in fact they seem influenced by other German bands like HOELDERLIN and EMTIDI, as well as by JADE WARRIOR's fuzzy lead guitar phrasings.

ESPERS are shackled by a desire to foster a hypnotic state, because most of the tracks never escape the confines of the dirge. They are fairly competent at mood setting, but when that mood is exasperation, the goals may be left unmet. At regular intervals I really want them to break out and evolve, and the album is largely devoid of anything resembling a rich melody. Limited ideas are rewarded with excessive stage time, and some of the drawn out outros really make this album seem like a product of another time, in all the worst ways.

The best they can do with this largely acoustic sleepfest is found in "Riding", with impressive guitar leads, , the electronic distortion of "Byss and Abyss", and especially the almost upbeat "Daughter". OK that's a stretch. Like a sports team with too many players cut from a similar cloth, this collection's components would thrive if plucked out and dropped into a compilation of tunes not of their ilk. But together they sport all the appeal of an unbroken horizontal line.

An esper is an individual with telepathic ability, but I suppose even espers can fail to get their message across. Either that or they don't have a lot to say.

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 III by ESPERS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.57 | 15 ratings

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III
Espers Prog Folk

Review by Any Colour You Like
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I find something incredibly organic about Espers. It is as if this album has floated down from the sky to settle on the verdant meadows. It kind of feels pointless to describe this album to those who haven't heard it before, because it is one you really have to feel and embrace. Nonetheless, 'III' is the third full length (oh really?) release from Philadelphia based psych-folk band Espers.

Combining a heady mix of atmospherics, keys, string arrangements, vocal harmonies and unconventional folk instrumentation, Espers create wonderfully lucid soundscapes that draw the listener into the distant world they describe. The brilliance of their compositions lie in the fact that they make outwardly happy and simplistic music sound so intense and at times deceptively complex. The lyrical narratives and imagery presented throughout 'III' are highly poetic and relaxing in a bizarre sense. These sonic poetics are lifted by the combination (and contrast) between both male and female vocals - something which again complements the compositional layering of the album. Indeed, tracks like 'I Can't See Clear', 'The Road of Golden Dust' and 'Another Moon Song' perfectly highlight what this album is about. They present crisp acoustics and airy atmospherics, while sparse flourishes of percussion and electric guitar lines assimilate into each movement with ease and grace. Indeed, this is a poised album, it never seems to extend beyond its own means. Which at times comes across as unadventurous, but given the deceptive complexity and brilliant compositional arrangements, such can be easily excused. While I have very few critiques of 'III', I lament that the duality of light/dark perhaps isn't perhaps as fully developed (in concept and execution) as it could have been. What I mean by this, is that while the lighter atmosphere of the album can be contrasted with the sinister or disconcerting nature of the imagery, I feel that it would have been possible to make this contrast more emotional without sacrificing the mystical aura that the album develops. Now I've just gone and confused myself.

Anyway, 'III' has been one of my finds of the year, and comes highly recommended to all fans of adventurous folk, psych and those with a taste for mystical music generally.

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 II by ESPERS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.87 | 33 ratings

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II
Espers Prog Folk

Review by JLocke
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As soon as I heard the first few moments of this album's opening track, ''Dead Queen'', I knew I was in for a treat. My, how impressed I am with this ghostly, haunting masterpiece. Such beauty is achieved, yet through very unconventional means. Sometimes they sound like Barret-era Floyd's craziest moments, other times, they sound like something completely original, but they always, always manage to engage me with every turn they take.

The acoustic guitar work is the first thing that jumped out at me. Not only is the skill impressive, but the overall production gives it a very 'dark' tone that could give you chills. The singing of Meg Baird is celtic and haunting, yet lovely and melodious. The songs have a very studio-heavy, layered sound, yet that shouldn't be an issue for you. Yes, it isn't the type of 'folk' music that can be 100% reproduced live without some heavy electronics at work, but the result is fantastic, regardless of what genre you may think Espers 'actually' are a part of. Many instrument tracks overlap each other to create a deep pool of musical intricacy for the more observant listener to uncover over the course of repeated listens. It's a treasure-trove of ideas that give the album considerable replay value. You'll be coming back to this one a few times more if you liked it even a little bit.

All of the song structures seem to be calm and well-thought out. Never do the players feel as if they have to rush or throw in over- complicated flourishes in order for the music to be enjoyable. It's this self-confident approach to their songwriting that impresses me most, I think. They seem to know exactly what this style of music calls for, and they are clearly more concerned with mood, atmosphere and melody than they are complexity or flourish.

The eclectic mixture of instruments and the uses for each of them over the course if the record help give each song its own identity in a situation where lesser songwriters may have ended up recreating the same track seven times. Yes, it's not the most diverse album you'll come across, but it is an album you'll likely come back to if you want no-nonsense, beautiful modern acoustic- electric music. It's simultaneously relaxing and disturbing, comforting and haunting. It's progressive and forward-thinking, without a doubt, and yet many conventional Prog Rock lovers may not like it if no other no reason than for its apparent simplicity. Minimalism and simplicity are two very different things in music, and I would certainly categorize this band as displaying the former.

A very nice surprise for me, since I hadn't heard a single note from this band before ordering the album. I decided to trust my fellow collaborators in this case, and I'm very happy that I did. I think I may have found a new favorite. No, it's not 'epic' or anything like that, but nor is it boring or bland. It's just Espers. It's slow-moving, melodic mood music, I suppose. But with a progressive twist. The compositions are clever and layered, and the delivery is just dynamite. I implore you to at least give this band a chance the next time you feel like buying yet another album from a more well-known artist. Take a chance. Like me, you may end up very pleased with you decision.

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 Espers by ESPERS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.58 | 24 ratings

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Espers
Espers Prog Folk

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Spooky, Ethereal, Freak Folk Indeed

Espers is one of a small group of newish bands playing various (mostly) acoustic instruments to create an independent music that has gone by all sorts of names, but my favorite is Freak Folk. The use of autoharp, flute, acoustic guitar, spritely voices and plenty of hippy trappings certainly have been gathered under a "folk" name before, but of course new and folk are a bit of an anachronism. Instead, this music is more of a soundtrack to a wiccan / pagan cultural movement that certainly tracks back through hippy times to centuries ago, but the sound is actually pretty fresh. This ain't no Peter, Paul, and Mary. Heck this ain't even Pentangle (a band that clearly was crossing true folk ideas with the sound of the British flower child sound of the time).

Whatever the name, this band certainly has their share of new ingredients to throw into their witchy stew. The most obvious is the use of dissonant harmony across the entire sound. The result is eerie and dark, and on this debut album, by the time we get to the big fuzz bass on the last song, "Travel Mountains," it actually feels like we're tunneling under the mountain, waiting for Gollum to grab us by the throat. And yet, Meg Baird's light vocals are almost angelic, creating a tension between light and dark that is extremely compelling. Greg Weeks relatively straightforward vocal tonality leaves us the impression of an innocent young man wandering into the enchanted woods, about to be beset and devoured by some ancient curvy spirits of the earth.

The instrumentation is quite interesting as well. Using both drones and slow rhythmic elements (strumming or arpeggios usually) the band is able to produce an airy, ethereal feel despite having the voices compressed so hard that it feels like the singers are whispering directly into your ear. Cellos, flutes, ebow guitar, 12-string, dulcimer are all credited along with "acid leads" (I assume the fuzz bass) and "tone generator" (which is some form of synthesizer). Though there are occasional noisy, free-form solo spots, never do the instruments truly draw attention to themselves in any way other than tonality.

Many of the emotional ideas aimed at by post-rockers are done, much better, here. The slow builds and dreamy soundscapes are similar. But the sense of variety is so much better on this disc. But like post-rock, the biggest downside is too much of the same emotion. While the world that Espers takes me to is rich in dark color, I'm not really allowed to explore different varieties of terrain. We remain deep in the forest at night. It's too dark, too long. A little ray of sun peeking through the trees, a little ebb and flow of the tension, or, frankly, a few up beat sections, all would have moved this from a 3-4 star album to a possible prog folk masterpiece.

As it is, this is really good and it's not as if there were a load of bands doing this before Espers got started. The other Wyrd, or Pagan, or Freak Folk bands sound decidedly different from Espers. To my knowledge, there still isn't another band that sounds quite like this. 4/5.

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 III by ESPERS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.57 | 15 ratings

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III
Espers Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

A long wait for their third album, but the group members were busy at their own solo albums, Greg Weeks have 5 or 6 to his credit, where Meg Baird released early this year her first (or second, I can't be sure), while Helena Espvall release a second collaboration album with Masaki Batoh. Sooo anyway, three years is a long time. Unchanged line-up, still a great artwork (very pagan folk and Amerindian native art on the cover, but musically, there is a slight shift towards more standard folk rock, slowly reaching Fairport Convention-type of folk rock. The music on III is definitely more "modern" and less "medieval" than on II, but it is also more varied and maybe monotonous, in the literal sense of the word, not to be confused with boring.

If the group manages a good start with Can't See Clear and Golden Dust, the album soon drowns in a semi-coma with Caroline (not the Wyatt track) and The Pearl, which sounds like even the band don't believe in those tracks - especially the latter, which had everything to boost a turbo and reach another dimension. So for the first four tracks, the mood seems upbeat for Espers, which is a bit of a change from their usual melancholy. Well the group doesn't abandon their previous spookiness altogether either since That Which Darkly Thrives and Sightings, both slower and more brooding pieces that evoke a bit their first two albums. But the darkness doesn't last and while the mellotron-laden Meridian is melancholic enough and Colony is the album's centrepiece. Indeed the album returns to a more upbeat mood with Trollslanda, a good closer with an excellent bravura middle section. Most likely this album will need a bit more time and listens than their predecessors, which were more immediately pleasing.

If you can find the gatefold mini-Lp version of this album, by all means jump for it, because it looks much better than the digipak version that I ordered through their label site (which arrived with a crushed tray). So while less spooky and more varied, Espers sort of demystify themselves and go blander, most likely in an attempt to widen their appeal and reach a new audience. But in the meantime, this proghead thinks this album doesn't reach the heights of their previous albums, but III remains a very decent album. Whether it will be worth keeping in a few years (when time for a good shelf trimming cut) is not yet clear, though.

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 The Weed Tree by ESPERS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2005
3.11 | 10 ratings

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The Weed Tree
Espers Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars There are only two observations I would make about this Espers EP that might be taken as anything but complete praise. First, these are cover tunes, not original ones (except for “Dead King”, and be aware that this one is generally not available from sites where the EP can be purchased as a download). And second, the release timing between the band’s first and second studio releases makes this seem like a bit of an opportunistic venture to leverage interest in the band’s stellar debut to pull a few more dollars out of fan’s pockets. And to bolster that perception, the price of this EP in most places I’ve seen it is usually as much (or even more) than a full-length album. You can find it reasonably-priced but be prepared to look a bit.

Beyond those two minor nuisances, this is a great piece of music. The opening treatment of Bert Jansch’s “Rosemary Lane” sets the tone for this being a nostalgic and charming highlights tour by Meg Baird and Greg Weeks to show off some of their musical influences. This is followed by Tomorrow from Durutti Column, which is a song I’d never heard in its original format but am left feeling like I’ve revisited an old musical friend after hearing Espers’ version of it anyway.

Meg Baird comes off nearly as young yet world-wise as Jill Johnson did on the Famous Jug Band’s original version of “Black is the Color”, and the achingly mournful violin/cello/whatever it is Baird is bowing is intoxicating.

Nico’s “Afraid” is another song I don’t have much knowledge of, but Baird’s version here has a timeless feel to it that reminds me of lavender potpourri bowls at Grandma’s house and dew-glistened grass on a lazy spring Saturday. All those comfort memories that hit you every once and a while when you slow down long enough to let them.

The band’s rendition of Michael Hurley’s “Blue Mountain” showcases a bit more of Weeks’ digital experimentation than most of the other tracks here, as well as he and Baird’s fits-like-a-glove harmonizing vocals. This is more like what the band’s debut sounded like before they expanded to a sextet and added more emphasis on the acoustic and percussion side of their sound. I have mixed feelings on which sound is better, but that’s kind of like trying to decide which of two sweet candies is the sweeter. You can’t lose either way.

The most surprising cover here is Blue ÷yster Cult’s “Flaming Telepaths”. On the one hand this one makes a little bit of sense since if you were going to cover a B÷C tune on a folk album this would be one of the less-metal ones that you could probably pull that off with. But whatever possessed Weeks (and I gotta’ believe this was his idea) that this was something Espers needed to do is beyond me. The psychedelic cacophony Weeks launches toward the end is a bit of a departure for Espers but not for him, so maybe he just wanted to put his own signature sound on the album to muss up Baird’s calico folkiness a bit. Whichever, this is an interesting and bold attempt and although I personally thought it drug on a bit longer than necessary I also applaud their bold effort.

Finally the closing “Dead King” is an original track but this is an abbreviated version. The full-length one would show up on the band’s next studio release, but this is a nice preview and a decent way to close the EP.

If you know of Espers and are a fan then I would say this is probably essential; otherwise I would recommend it if you are looking to discover the band but only if you can purchase it as a download or find a reasonably-priced copy. If you can only locate one of those $25USD range copies, buy either of their full-length studio albums instead. Three stars.

peace

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 The Weed Tree by ESPERS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2005
3.11 | 10 ratings

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The Weed Tree
Espers Prog Folk

Review by Speesh

3 stars Great EP of mostly cover songs recorded after Espers' first album. Though all of the songs with the exception of Dead King are covers, the group manages to consistently showcase their original sound. The first half of this long EP are fairly standard folk songs. However all of them are well chosen and very well played by the new version of this great band.

The second half picks up with more progressive songs, most notably the cover of Flaming Telepaths by Blue Oyster Cult. They remain true to the original with their own unique sound until the end, where it meanders into a psychedelic frenzy of electric guitars. Dead King is a taste of what we will see on the group's second essential album, II, though the version on II is longer and better produced.

Overall, the album sounds great but not entirely progressive. Essential for fans of Espers and certainly worth checking out otherwise. However for those new to Espers and this interesting neo-folk subgenre, their two studio albums are the essential releases, especially their second one.

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 II by ESPERS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.87 | 33 ratings

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II
Espers Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars This is pretty original stuff in case anyone is paying attention. When I reviewed their self-titled debut I said that if the core duo of psych-fuzzmeister Greg Weeks and folk-nymph Meg Baird could stay together, they would create something amazing at some point. Well they did stay together – sort of.

Espers II, according to Weeks, is actually a reincarnation of what was once Espers. Okay, whatever – seems a bit contrived to me. But there is some truth to the whole rebirth concept. What was officially a trio with several guest musicians in 2002 has become – well, a trio with several guest musicians in 2006. But it appears the separation between the two halves is gone. The sextet that performs on this album comes across as a single, contiguous unit. And the net result is another breathy and adventurous and intoxicating musical experience, only one that has an even richer breadth of sounds than the first album.

Even though the liner notes only identify the players by their last names and pictures, it doesn’t take much effort to discover the cellist here is Helena Espvall, who has also appeared on duet releases with Meg Baird, and has performed live with Espers and with Weeks’ solo side project. This album includes drums (unlike the debut where the tempo was kept thanks mostly to finger cymbals and dulcimer) and although their presence is barely felt, Devendra Banhart drummer Otto Hauser adds to a growing sense of a new musical twist from Espers that blends early folk-inspired psych with the complexity and patience of post-rock. A Silver Mt. Zion came close to this but with a harder, often angry edge; and Ozric Tentacles dabbled here as well although steeped deeply in the psych side of the equation. With Espers there is a sense of balance that yields a net result of getting the listener inside of themselves, while in the end leaving you feeling pretty good about life and the world around you in a realistic but not fatalistic way. A true talent.

“Children Of Stone” is the trippiest and longest track here, an unhurried wander through mild fuzz guitar and a variety of eclectic and mostly uncredited instruments like the doumbek, dholak, chimes, and dulcimer; and the more mundane but still folksy 6-string acoustic guitars and soft snare drums.

On the more psych end of the spectrum, “Mansfield and Cyclops” features both drums and fuzz prominently, as well as a very striking and eerie picked sound that I believe is an autoharp. With an instrument like that you have two ways to go: folksy, or pretentious. These guys manage to avoid sounding pretentious, so they must be the real deal.

I really can’t say enough about this album. The compositions are all remarkably unhurried, rich in acoustic sounds, percussion and loose, meandering tempos. Meg Baird has a voice that seems to both channel Sandy Denny and extend the capabilities of more mainstream vocalists like Shawn Colvin.

Best track? Hard to say, but the drawn-out and spacey “Dead King” is a top pick with lots of hard-to-identify percussion, Baird’s lazy vocals, and a tempo that doesn’t put you to sleep but sure gets you feeling laid back in a hurry. “Widow's Weed” is another top offering with some exquisite acoustic guitar and a very Mt Zion-like dissonant cello/violin combination.

An outstanding follow-up to the band’s 2002 debut, Espers II shows growth and progression in both the range of sounds and complexity of the arrangements. What hasn’t changed are the things that work: Baird and Weeks’ complementary folk vs. psych styles, Baird’s luscious vocals, and the liberal sprinkling of exotic and inspiring instrumentation. A seriously excellent album, and very highly recommended.

peace

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 Espers by ESPERS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.58 | 24 ratings

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Espers
Espers Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars Espers co-conspirators Greg Weeks and Meg Baird claim it was Krautrock that led them to the sound that is now packaged as something called 'Espers'. Well I'm not much of an authority on Krautrock, but I can say that this stuff seems a far cry from Popol Vuh or Floh de Cologne to me. Then again, those are about the only Krautrock bands I have in my collection, and these guys should know who their influences are, so never mind.

I will say that Espers rank right up there with a slew - well, a small slew; a trickle really. These guys rank up there with a small handful (much better.) of newer bands that seem to be having a blast reviving a spirit of adventurous exploration in their music with very few rules to bind them. Fairport Convention did that by creating a completely new blend of acoustic hippie pop with more traditional folk sounds on 'Liege & Lief' in 1969; Marillion merged metal and traditional art rock into a pompous sound and along with IQ pretty much created neo-progressive rock a generation later. And Graham Sutton came out of nowhere in the early nineties with Bark Psychosis to help give rise to an experimental sound that would become known as post rock. And Espers may go down in history as one of the innovating forces of a new brand of prog folk, one that blends drone music and sometimes wildly experimental sounds with very traditional-sounding folk trappings: acoustic guitar, finger cymbals, flute, autoharp, dulcimer, strings, and above all those angelic feminine voices. This album is a real treat for folk, experimental, and even psych fans alike.

Describing Espers' music is about as pointless as trying to explain Sleepytime Gorilla Museum or Idiot Flesh. I've you've ever tried to write a review for one of those albums you know what I mean.

But let's give it a shot.

I picked this up after seeing the band listed as a prog folk band, and both the look of the album artwork and the instrumentation listed on it gave me the impression this would be a newer version of late sixties-style languid folk. And the first track "Flowery Noontide" reinforces that impression. Mellow acoustic guitar, autoharp, hypnotic cello, Dennyisque vocals courtesy of Meg Baird. Yup, pretty much as advertised. And more of the same on "Meadow", although there's some suspicious tone generation going on at the end that seems to signal a shift in mood.

Turns out that's only the beginning. With "Riding" the Vox is out in full force, and despite Baird's acoustic guitar and Weeks' spacey vocals this is a considerably more psychedelic and hypnotic composition than the previous tracks. "Voices" is more of the same, with the drone of electronic fuzz tone toward the end building up to the crescendo that will come on the next track

By the time "Hearts & Daggers" rolls around Weeks' drone fetish is completely out of the bag. Despite the acoustic guitar and autoharp, this comes off sounding much more like a post-rock composition than anything resembling folk. The electronic fuzz drones on for more than eight minutes, and it is quite easy to get lost in the mood and forget you're listening to what is supposed to be a folk record. Good thing Dylan already broke the whole leap to electric mold a long time ago or this would be a lot more surprising than it is.

"Byss & Abyss" backs off a bit, but even here there is quite a bit of experimental tone generation toward the end just to keep the listener off-guard. And the band reinforces their modus operandi with the one-two combination of the acoustic and laid- back "Daughter" followed by a climactic drone and full-on psych affair with the "Travel Mountains" to end the album.

Not exactly what I expected for what was supposed to be a folk album, but Espers have delivered an excellent debut album and set themselves up to become a definitive prog band if they continue to develop their innovative sound in the future. Four stars for sure, and the capacity to deliver a masterpiece some day. Highly recommended.

peace

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 The Weed Tree by ESPERS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2005
3.11 | 10 ratings

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The Weed Tree
Espers Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars This cover album came out halfway between Esper's two albums, partly to soothe the fans' impatience. Already by this time Espers had grown to the sextet that will record the superb II album, and although a cover album, it is fairly representative of the group's sound. The album came with a fluo orange colour and a fluo yellow inside cover, sporting a simplified paisley artwork.

Starting out on the trad folk Rosemary Lane, and a bit later Black Is The Colour, the album starts out smoothly in a mellow tone. Weirder is the Nico cover of Afraid, version that lost all of the usual macabre ambiance of the German singer. One of the more engaged (energy-wise) tracks on this album is Blue Mountain, which is the closest they come to their original albums. Another surprising treatment is Blue Oyster Cult's Flaming Telepaths, and the least we can say that Espers dared to strip this rock piece to its bare bones. Quite a change, even if the progheads had wished for a not-so-wise rendition in the song proper, it does get there but only during the lengthy song finale of the track where electric guitars make an appearance. Very cool track, indeed and making honour to BOC. The only original Espers track is Dead King (which will have an answer on the next album with Dead Queen), and it gives a good foretaste of their next album. Not quite essential as their two studio albums, The Weed Tree is still quite a treat in its own genre, but clearly the second half of the album is really worth it.

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