There are a lot of bands coming out of CT these days that are making some fantastic music. There are bands that I would honestly count among some of my favorites right now. If you were to ask me though who my favorite CT band was or who was the absolute best I don't think I could give you a straight answer. I'd probably rattle off multiple bands and on any given day the answer would be different. But I can guarantee that one band that would be amongst the answers to both questions on a consistent basis would be Heirlooms.
Heirlooms was a band that came out of nowhere in 2010 with the release of their self-titled EP and an equally amazing live set that never disappointed. In 2011 the band released a "live from the studio" EP to hold us all over while we waited patiently for the bands first full-length...and waited...and waited. But finally we've been given Everyone A Diver and I have to say that the wait was well worth it. I don't like to throw out the word "epic" very often because, well, the hipsters and music journalists of the day have completely ruined the word and rendered it obsolete. It's a shame because in the case of an album like this "epic" is exactly the one word that perfectly describes what I'm hearing.
One of the definitions of the word epic is "Surpassing the usual or ordinary, especially in scope or size." Another is, "Heroic and impressive in quality." Surpassing the usual or ordinary in scope? Check. Impressive in quality? Check. Yup, I'll risk being chastised and say it. This album is epic. I had the privilege one night about six months ago to be given a sneak preview of one track from this record and I knew then this album was going to be special. Even in it's most embryonic of stages that one sampling I heard was already head and shoulders above what most bands of this ilk are producing. This is not just another "indie folk" album to go along with the hundreds of them that are starting to clog up Last.fm and Pandora. This band has transcended the norm and made an album that fans of Fleet Foxes, Dr. Dog, The Decemberists, Band of Horses, Bon Iver, Mount Moriah, etc. should absolutely drool over when they get their hands on it.
For Heirlooms fans most of the songs on this album will be recognizable from their previous EP and live set. Tracks like "Alone In An Empty Room", "Wherewithal" and "Avalon" finally get the proper studio treatment they deserve and are some of the best tracks on the album. One of the best parts about this band has always been their ability to be at the top of their game both in the studio and in the live setting. Their live shows were never just a band on stage. They were productions. They were events. That's because the music being produced was so damn talented and none of that has been lost with this recording. Quite the contrary, the studio additions - cello, trumpet, saxophone, flute, etc. - give the music an additional layer of sound and feeling. It's really a triumph; the perfect culmination of over a year spent piecing this thing together.
Alas, you may have noticed that I was speaking in the past tense in the last paragraph as the rumors abound that this will be a posthumous release for Heirlooms. If they never record another note together or ever take the stage again they have certainly left us with a legacy, albeit very brief, of superior musicianship and a mastery of their craft. This album is a testament to both of those things and a reminder of just how damn good a band can be when they are clicking on all cylinders.