For their first musical venture together, Trebuchet decided to offer a self-titled EP of six songs, and to make it available either as a digital download or a vinyl recording. The idea of releasing a debut recording on vinyl appealed to me, and so that is what I am reviewing.
Trebuchet consists of four members: Lauren Haile, Paul Haile, Navid Manoochehn, and Eliott Whitehurst. Paul and Lauren Haile and Manoochehn are all members of the “post-rock” ensemble Not To Reason Why, and Whitehurst is the lead singer of the group Furlong.
The packaging is fairly simple, with a portrait of the group and their name on the front, and for me, a completely unreadable list of lyrics written on the back in faux fancy handwriting. It looks interesting graphically and someone with better eyes than mine might find it useful. At the bottom, there is a bit of information about the band and the additional musicians, but so far it is quite difficult to determine who besides Lauren Haile sings vocals on the three songs which do not feature her. This may have been deliberate.
Musically, Trebuchet is pretty amazing. Their harmonies are perfectly balanced, and Haile’s voice is bright, pure and beautiful. The male vocalists are equally strong. The sound is similar to Celtic folk, and borders on classical when Lauren Haile sings lead. The musical accompaniment is well-suited to the music and the emotionally evocative lyrics. The instruments include kick drum, mandolin, cello, piano, viola, guitar, and pedal steel—not your customary instruments for a post-rock band.
Really, Trebuchet is very hard to categorize. It is actually far from rock, and certainly not country. The group’s style is closer to folk or jazz. I liked the music on first listen and have a feeling their record is going to unfold like a flower with repeated listens. I will like it and the band better and better as I become more familiar with their style.
Give Trebuchet a listen. You will find the band refreshing and different, at the very least. And, you may find that their debut EP grows on you very quickly until you find yourself turning to it more and more. I am already wanting to listen to it again.