Folk rock at its finest hour
Tall Height’s third full-length album, Juniors, senses the need for balance. In its confounding variables—those that involve the deepest sorrows and greatest joys in life—the album outrightly chooses the interpersonal. It does not seek full answers. Truth comes in pieces, which leads to a truly, wonderfully fresh album. Evoking the early ages of the pandemic, there is a sense of hope in the darkness. Instead of despair, there is an intense desire to create a more well-rounded picture.
The opening track “Keeps Me Light” is a soft, warm song. The acoustic instrumentals remind one of dream-pop mixed with folk-rock at its finest hour. However, the illusion of a flawless performance is broken by the artist. With a chorus of backing vocals and the cheers that punctuate the end of the song, there is an infectious energy that opens the album with a roar. But perhaps, that does not do the greatest justice to the lyrics themselves. It has the vulnerabilities that any good love song has, while still providing a unique picture. The novelty of love songs is brought forth in songs like this.
“Hear It Again” is even more pop-centric than the previous track, with a heavy emphasis on its drums. The accentuation of the chorus with the bass is a nice touch, as it counteracts the vocals in a way that deviates from their previous works by providing a more modern, youthful sound. With lyrics such as “love’s not a destination / it’s the journey home,” it is clear there is an attention to detail, with every song having the soul of the previous. Its personality drives the song to more interesting turns.
Much more morbid takes are in the songs that follow, such as “The Mountain” which vividly depicts his love’s favorite place, and his expectation that she will be buried there. These are the songs that sound more traditionally folk-rock in the album, as they have a slower, more intimate performance. The use of reverberation deviates it in a way that makes it seem more like an echo from the past. The cinematic quality truly makes it stand out against the backdrop of the rest of the album.
“Flyin’ Overhead” is by far the longest song on the album, but is probably the best song to represent the album as a whole. The combination of the acoustic guitar with more modern pop elements, such as the grandiose bassline and drumline, creates a bridge between the two worlds crafted throughout the album. Morbidity intertwines with romanticism in a refreshing way without being cliche. The unity between the two themes cements the album’s purpose and truly makes it seem laser-focused.
The final song, “It’s Insane” ends the work on a bittersweet note. Perhaps the most lyrically simplistic, there is a certain desire to show two events uniting in love. This album shows the true range of folk-rock today, combining with pop elements to create a surprising and well-rounded album. The simplicity truly works in getting its point across. Vivid imagery is such a hallmark of the band, and there is no difference here. It is a promising addition to the beginning of this year, and certainly, will leave one wanting to hear more from the band.