Monday, February 18, 2008

2) Cherry Tree - The National (Top Extended Plays)

Cherry Tree EP

The National
Beggars Banquet Records.

SCQ Rating: 90%

My first-ever listen to The National was the Cherry Tree EP, from the elegy of ‘Wasp Nest’ to the barely-there ‘A Reasonable Man’, at 3am after a drunken walk across town. I left Zangief’s after a get-together and decided to carve a new route home through a misty park. Twenty minutes later, I was lost; I had confused parks and spent an additional hour wading through puddles and fallen leaves. I came home ragged but exhilarated, and fell deeply for ‘All the Wine’ and Beringer’s baritoned wit.

When I mentioned how the Extended Play seemed formatted for songs that required particular attention and sequencing, Cherry Tree EP is the exact model I had in mind. Its seven songs (even the two separate live tracks) are sewn by the same autumnal mood; each song venting for the time and space that would be emotionally overwhelming if placed on a ten to twelve track LP.

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