If you’re on a quest for new, ear-pleasing sounds that comfort and inspire, look no further than indie folk-pop band Blind Pilot’s new “And Then Like Lions” release.
Central to their sound and appeal are lead singer Israel Nebeker’s captivating vocals, harmonious layered choruses and their tasteful use of acoustic and percussive touches.
On ATO Records, their newest endeavor is their third studio release; most of the 10 tracks here are artful arrangements that invite repeated listening.
“Lions” opens on the plaintive notes of beautifully lush “Umpqua Rushing” and the pensive “Joik #3” – a lovely ode to Nebecker’s father, who passed over two years ago. The upbeat and lyrically engaging “Packed Powder” is especially commendable.
Early band history
Based in Portland, Oregon, in 2008 Blind Pilot – then a duo consisting of Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski – embarked on a bicycle tour from Bellingham Washington to San Diego, California, carrying their instruments on trailers they custom made, and selling their EP along the way. They played more than two dozen shows including Seattle, Corvallis and Santa Cruz on that tour.
They then released their stellar “3 Rounds and a Sound” debut, and in 2009, added four touring members. Blind Pilot released “We Are the Tide” in 2011.
Band members are: Luke Ydstie, upright bass, bass guitar, backing vocals; Kati Claborn, banjo, mountain dulcimer, ukulele, backing vocals; Ian Krist, vibraphone, percussion; Dave Jorgensen, trumpet, keyboards; Ryan Dobrowski, drums, percussion; and Israel Nebeker, vocals and guitar.
The lilting “Which Side I’m On” is another standout, as is “Umpqua Rushing,” released as a single. The band also trumps on closing title track “Like Lions.”
You can find music by Blind Pilot on iTunes, Amazon and on their website.
Promoting the new album on a cross-country tour, they’re likely playing a venue near you soon. Check here for tour dates and locales.