LOCAL INTERVIEW: SILVER TREES | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“Nature is often our inspiration and guide,” explains Brian Barnes, member of spiritual six-piece Silver Trees. “Some of the band practice elements of Buddhism and Pantheism and believe that the universe, or nature as the totality of everything, is identical with divinity.  Those powerful concepts naturally bleed over into the music and the songs we create.”

No question about it; the ethos of Silver Trees one hundred percent revolves around these (not insubstantial) themes and concepts. New EP Leaves Are Sacred Songs, released on 31st January, opens with lead track Tree To Seed, “a song all about the cycles found within nature”.

The Hartlepool outfit’s music carries an ethereal, almost mesmeric quality – sometimes instrumental, at other times enhanced by the echoes of far off lyrics (think the Twin Peaks theme tune with added bass). One of their key aims, they explain, is to effectively transport listeners to another time and place. Another of their new tracks, Karma Drama, borrows elements from old Middle Eastern-style instrumentals. “It’s a fundamental aspect of our music. Just as we enjoy losing ourselves to our songs, we of course want our listeners to lose themselves for a while too. We want our performances to be something akin to a trance-like, almost spiritual, experience.”

We want our performances to be something akin to a trance-like, almost spiritual, experience

It’s far from being Enya-esque lift music however; their sound is constantly evolving. Tree To Seed is a new spin on Seed To Tree, a song that has been part of their set for almost three years now. “Though some of our tracks in the past were very laid back, lately we’ve diversified into a harder edged, more insistent style,” Brian says. These results have provided an interesting contrast to some of their more laidback early tracks. Tree To Seed, which is a more progressive, melodic version of its predecessor, they describe as being a “logical reprise” rather than a revision.

The band are not ones to be neatly fitted into any particular category; instead they touch upon different genres – Krautrock and early stoner rock, but also electronica, psych folk and “places in between”. “We think that comes from having six core members all from different musical backgrounds. We have a slightly different take on things, which we fully embrace, and we hope to realise that within our music. We’re not sure if it was intentional, more a happy accident.”

And while many of their songs start off with their best intentions of suiting a quiet, small room environment, things often change when they step onto the stage or into the rehearsal room. “The increased volume levels alone force us to re-jig those initial compositions. We like to keep everything fluid and to improvise. There’s little point recreating our songs note by note [when performing live]. Instead we bend our compositions into a shape that suits the atmosphere of a particular place or gig.”

Brian sums up the vibes the band hope to achieve in a suitably poetic manner: “Imagine, if you will, the midsummer sun going down, on the horizon of a festival field, as you lay down with loved ones and lose yourself to a soundtrack of melodic meandering, hypnotic guitars, wistful, dreamy vocals and intricate but chilled-out, beats and bass. That kind of scene is often our inspiration.”

Silver Trees will launch Songs Are Sacred Leaves on Saturday 31st January at Lost In The Woods #4 at The Studio, Hartlepool, with support from Behold A Pale Horse, The Alice Syndrome and The First Process Church Of Mars.

IMAGE BY Tanya Smiles

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