Dearest Crown – A Single Star, Bigger Than the Universe

Dearest Crown
A Single Star, Bigger Than the Universe

Portland, Oregon’s Dearest Crown is quite an eclectic band that focuses its efforts on simple melodies with traditional acoustic instrumentation. The first time I heard their recordings, I was immediately reminded of early- to mid-period Lullaby for the Working Class in the sense that they carry the rustic sound very well. This includes such unique instruments as violins, banjos, trumpets, mandolins, cellos, and accordions in addition to all the usual instruments we’ve come to expect with the exception of drums and percussion.
The only fault I have with Dearest Crown is with the main vocalist. The voice is nasally and off-kilter enough to have some people really enjoying it, while others, like myself, liken it to the equivalent of nails scratching on a blackboard. However, keeping things on a positive note, I’ll disregard all vocals and focus on the interesting instrumentation the quartet encompasses.
I found a couple of tracks appealing on the record in terms of the developed melodies. “Windshield” features a really wonderful acoustic guitar part in addition to violins in the background. Again, I’m reminded of Lullaby for the Working Class material, which isn’t a bad thing at all since I really enjoyed that group. In fact the vocals start to grown on you after awhile and actually produce a good melody. “Owl of Minerva” has a very countryish feel to it but features lightly strummed banjos and melodic acoustic guitars. “Forever Approaching Zero” is the standout track on the record, which recalls the more melancholic material of Red House Painters.
Overall, I’ve found that the record has its ups and downs. While I don’t feel passionate about any track in particular, the album is nice enough to have in the background while lying outside drinking lemonade. If you enjoy saddened acoustic rock with heavy country overtones, then you might want to try Dearest Crown on for size.