A tiny music box and a grand orchestra don’t have much in common, save the fact that they are both (generally) pleasant to listen to but Ryan Repash positions himself between the two on his debut album Memory Tree. Released under the moniker Vesper Heights, the Abington native explores themes of nature, distance, and discovery on the 13-track set. Repash rolls out the golden carpet for the listener to walk upon on the elegant instrumental opening track “Sailsetter”. Then we fall through “Trapdoors”, a more upbeat affair that’s marked by sweeping violin melodies, like most of the record. Slower cuts like “Miles”, “Ten Years Out”, and “Lost and Found” are dreamy and cinematic in a sense that the orchestral arrangements build up the sentiments expressed in Repash’s understated vocals.
This chamber pop outing is quite similar to The Postal Service in its delivery and subject matter but Vesper Heights’ relies more heavily on classical instruments. On the heartbreaking beauty “Red Queen”, Repash sings of “wounds that won’t heal themselves” over a calm and quiet musical backdrop before the violins and percussion step to the forefront. Mirroring the opener, closing track “The Garden” is another fine instrumental that’s beautiful enough to play at a wedding or any occasion that requires a warm, graceful soundtrack.
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