No More Can You Be Here
‘I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end’, William Blake wrote in his poem, A Poison Tree. Some 219 years later, those verses speaking of basic human emotion – fear, anger, guilt -– are softly sung by James Van Cuylenburg over a beautifully produced instrumental. The Tealeaves’ musical adaptation of Blake’s poem is a stunning track with an opening riff recalling Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon. It leads into a pleasing, thoughtful album – the second by the Melbourne band.
The Tealeaves’ music is as amiable as their branding. Self-described as “melancholy indie-folk”, the album echoes a multitude of influences and similarities such as Midlake, Fleet Foxes, Cat Stevens and Bon Iver. The Fleetwood Mac (circa late ‘70s) resemblance recurs with vocalist Jess Wilson, who sounds faintly reminiscent of Christine McVie. Aside from A Poison Tree, the track, Run Together, is particularly memorable and the most upbeat.
The other eight songs are unassuming and gentle with good choral arrangements and a comparison with the band’s 2010 debut reveals their music has become more layered, rich, and compelling.