Charlatans at the Garden Gate by Tristen
Tristen (aka my latest indie crush) brings us a really enjoyable ‘pleasant-core’ album with “Charlatans”. Her sound is an appealing and cohesive mix of diverse influences. Some of the songs have a mild old-world / Fleet Fox(y) feel, such as “Battle Of The Gods” and “Eager for Your Love”. With more ornate vocals and hints of very old school instrumentation these songs often feel like the type of thing that has been passed down for generations. Yet at other times Tristen flaunts a twangy laid back confidence like in “Matchstick Murder” and “Special Kind of Fear”. Songs like this give the album just the right amount of feel good sing-alongability. Yet I think the most effective song is “Baby Drugs” which has more of a vague alt-country sensibility. The song features a sunny guitar strum, cool vocal arrangements with the back up singers and quaint lyrics. The only time the album struggles is when it verges on that mainstream country radio sound briefly in songs like “heart hope & die”. I’m not sure Tristen will ever truly find her niche in anyone of Charlatans’ many genres but even if she doesnt she still makes a really swell jack of all trades, even if she is a master of none.
Charlatans at the Garden Gate: 4 out of 5.