Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Sapling - amor fati

I normally don't wait ten days after an album is released to write about it, but with the latest from Sapling I wanted to make sure I spent some time with it before overly gushing. After multiple listens, amor fati just keeps getting better and better.

After loving 2020's No Sequoia, I thought I knew what to expect with this new album. And amor fati is more of what we love about Sapling. It's both aggressive and fun punk rock with a biting sense of humor and an artfulness you don't see a lot in the genre. But then the songs on amor fati start going off in these unexpected directions. Songs like "A Fox Upon the Tomb," "Inaction in Action," and "11:37" are the more traditional Sapling songs, but something happens during "UK Modern is Soft" that changes the whole trajectory of the album. It starts off pretty standard, albeit a bit poppy by Sapling standards. Then, it just veers off into this epic burst of gorgeous noise, keeping this insane combination of art rock and pop intact while just building and building into this monster of a song. From there, the album grows into an unexpected masterpiece. From there you get a song like "Taboo" that starts off as this lovely, chilled out alt-rock song and then bursts into a heavy funk track. "The Werewolf of Nikola Tesla: A Musoem" is a spoken word/noise song that feels far more epic than its under four minute run time would suggest. "The Devil, The Witch, and The Nightmare" is a masterclass in loud/quiet/loud and is perfectly disjointed. (Also, I really hate to ruin a hidden track, but amor fati has my favorite hidden track in at least twenty five years...)

You can listen to "11:37" below. amor fati is available now via Bandcamp. For more on Sapling, check out their website.

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