The Pines Above The Prairie on LP + Download
On Minneapolis based indie-roots band The Pines new album Above the Prairie, they sound like an Eno of the Great Plains. Exploring the vast expanses around and above them, they find beauty in isolated towns and farms that dot the landscape, and the array of stars that dot the night sky. Rolling Stone's David Fricke has called The Pines "quietly gripping" and though most of the 10 new, original songs on Above the Prairie were captured in just a couple takes, the album represents the band's most ambitious work to date.
Songwriters David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey, and keyboardist/songwriter (and Benson's brother) Alex Ramsey, meld a lush, layered sound with vivid, imagistic lyrics. Above the Pines is also a celebration of the community and history that gave birth to it. On "Here," the band is joined by Iowa friends and family, including Greg Brown, Iris DeMent, Pieta Brown, and Ramsey patriarch Bo Ramsey, who co-produced the LP with The Pines. The album closes with "Time Dreams," a collaboration with American Indian activist and poet John Trudell.
Much like the photograph on the album's cover – which depicts a stunning nighttime landscape of wide-open grassland spotted with crumbling, abandoned cabins beneath an infinitely expansive galaxy of stars – the songs on Above The Prairie at once evoke the vastness of space, the ceaseless passage of time, the beauty of Earth, and the inescapable loneliness of inhabiting it.