peter von poehlgoing to where the tea trees are
  • MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2008

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Like Beck’s Sea Change in more formal threads, the debut album from Swedish-esque (only half his blood pumps blue and yellow) songwriter Peter von Poehl’s debut Going to Where the Tea Trees Are (Bella Union) is a mostly quant affair, proving sometimes the simpler things actually are the ones worth savoring the most. Feather light, wispy, and easy on the ear drums, von Poehl sounds at ease throughout the twelve tracks offered here. If a load off the loafers sounds in order, than the sonic surroundings of Tea Trees may be just the sort of fix you need.

Weighed down in a wash of analog – so much so it’s hard not to hear the hiss of the mics when pumped to maximum volumes – the songs offered here spin like a top upon an axis of acoustic guitar, electric piano, straight ahead drums, bits of brass, pocket string sections and von Poehl’s thin, crackling voice. This kind of recording value is probably most familiar to fans of Air…which makes sense. Von Poehl calls the band his mates. And the pillowy pulse behind Tea Trees’ fantasque “The Story of the Impossible” received quite a warm, radio reception in France last year. Talk about a French connection. - David Pitz

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