Album Review
And the Giraffe - Creature Collector Album Cover

And the Giraffe - Creature Collector

Reviewed by
And the GiraffeCreature Collector
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: November 2nd, 2012
A few weeks ago, I noticed I had a band called “And the Giraffe” liked on my personal Facebook page. I didn’t quite remember liking them, but I don’t just like any band page without a reason for it. I went to their page, and they said that they had a new EP coming out in November, so I was immediately anticipated. They had a few of the tracks on Bandcamp that you could buy (and get the rest of the tracks when they come out) as a teaser, or you could just wait until the album released as a “pay what you want” download. I listened to a bit of a track that was on their Bandcamp, and was certainly hooked. I downloaded it when it was released, and I was a bit disappointed that it was only six songs, but they total to be about 25 minutes, which is quite nice. It’s a very nice length, and overall, a very nice EP.

The band describe themselves as an “ambient dream folk” band, and I wasn’t too sure what that meant, but after listening to new EP Creature Collector, I definitely figured it out. Their sound is certainly quite unique, and I’ve never really heard a band that sounds like them. I do hear bits of pieces of other bands (well, influences, anyway), but they have a sound all their own, which is quite hard to find in music today, regardless of the genre.

Creature Collector opens with “Find My Name In the Sun,” and this song really sets the stage for what And the Giraffe is really about. It starts off with a folksy riff from what I’m pretty sure is a banjo, and immediately, it has almost a Bon Iver vibe to me, and I like it a lot. The song is pretty quiet, and folksy, which is cool, because I like this kind of stuff a lot. The tempo is quite slow throughout this song, but it doesn’t mean it’s not good; in fact, it’s quite beautiful, really. The first song really does show one where the “ambient dream folk” sound comes from. They’re certainly ambient, very dreamy, and folksy. It’s all there, and it works quite well. The ambient part comes in at the very end, with a very weird electronic little bit in the last minute of the song that leads right into the next one, “Of the Moment.” This song also starts off quite ambiently, if that’s even a word, and it almost seems like an instrumental track, because the vocals don’t kick in for the first minute, and are very scattered throughout. It’s quite clear from the second track that this band have no use for a formula of any kind, which is great, because they’re quite out there, to be honest. They’re nothing like I’ve heard before, and they’re very interesting. Third track “Sorry” is one of my favorite tracks on the EP, because I love the way this song sounds. This is an actual song, rather than just an experimental ambient track, and it really shows what the band is made of, like the first track. Lyrically, this is also my favorite track, because it’s all about the singer expressing his apologies to someone for a reason we, as the listeners, are not sure about. There are also some female vocals in this track as well, like a harmony, basically. It’s really cool, and shakes things up a bit. The last minute of this song also has a really weird and experimental instrumental as well, and it’s very different from the track was at the end of, but it really works, nonetheless. It’s quite interesting, and it keeps me wanting to listen to more.

As the EP goes on, it falls victim to what I call “Genericitis,” or something to that effect. It’s complicated, though, because as I mentioned earlier, the band has such a unique sound, but this band seems to be following a band like Mumford and Sons’ footsteps. Not in their actual sound, but in the way they make their music. I’m a huge fan of Mumford and Sons, and their new Babel was one of my favorites so far this year, but the problem with that record was how it wasn’t different from 2009’s Sigh No More at all. They have a sound of their own, but it’s almost like they think they can just make records where don’t expand on that sound. The same seems to be going for And the Giraffe. The first few songs are really cool, and really unique, but as you keep going, there’s not that much that changes. I like this EP a lot, don’t get me wrong, but it is plagued with a lack of variety. There’s only so much of the ambient dream folk we take, but thankfully, this EP is very tasteful at 25 minutes, so it’s quite forgivable. Fifth track “Take Care” is another track I really like. It doesn’t really do anything I haven’t heard on the rest of the EP, but it sounds quite interesting, nonetheless. It’s also very short, which is another interesting part, because it’s the shortest song on the EP at a bit over 2 minutes. Ironically, last track “Enough Is Enough” is 6 minutes, and the longest song on the EP. It’s really folksy, and definitely has that dream-pop aspect as well. It’s a nice closing track, and it picks up a bit more about two minutes in. It’s just a really relaxing song, which follows suit with the whole EP, essentially.

Overall, this is a great EP for anyone who is a fan of folk, indie, or experimental music. There’s a lot to take from this, but the problem is, they do get slightly boring. Not that it’s terrible, but there’s not a lot of variation on their sound, as awesome as it is. They suffer from the same thing that Mumford and Sons do, which I mentioned briefly earlier. It works quite nicely on a single release, but having more than a few songs that have the same sound, or having more than a couple albums with this sound is a bit redundant. The thing that makes this a good release is that it’s an EP. It’s not too short, but not too long, either. It’s right in the middle, where it should be. I am very excited to see where this band will go next, because they have a sound I definitely get into.

Recommended If You Like Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, The Lumineers, Noah and the Whale, Portugal. The Man etc, etc.

Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Find My Name In the Sun
2. On the Moment
3. Sorry
4. The Silent
5. Take Care
6. Enough Is Enough

And the Giraffe is:
Nick Roberts
Josh Morris
Robert Edmondson
Malcolm Martin

This review is a user submitted review from justbradley. You can see all of justbradley's submitted reviews here.
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