Let me paint a little picture here so you can really imagine this album: If City and Colour’s Little Hell became friends with Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More, and the two decided to spend a lovely afternoon on a paddleboat making music, Sleepy Turtles’ Summer, Hither is what they’d come up with.
There’s not a whole lot left to say beside that. All five tracks are a near perfect blend of the above mentioned bands/albums. “Morning Song” is a slower, folky number that has a bit of a choir feel to the vocals, as does the opening title track – although “Summer, Hither” is a bit more upbeat, which is perfect for kicking off a more mellow album like this. “Nature’s Hymn” gives Higgins’ a chance to widen his vocal range for a minute which breaks up a little of the monotony. It was definitely the right choice for a single.
The next track, “A Reason To Hope”, starts off the best combination of songs on the EP. It’s mellow, and everything from the vocals to the guitars are delicate and, for lack of a better word, pretty. Haunting harmonies, some folk acoustic guitars and slightly bluesy electrics paint a lovely soundscape before the song peaks and the drums finally come through full force. Then “Being Small” calms it all back down again. It’s simple, but the lyrics are some of the best on the album. They’re far more powerful than Higgins delivery gives credit for.
Fun fact: the band first came together to write a soundtrack for a novel written by Dylan Higgins (vocals/guitar) which you can find here: http://www.emblemandlantern.com/ The name Sleepy Turtles comes from the title of a chapter in the book. Anyway, you can stream the title track here: http://www.altpress.com/features/entry/premiere_sleepy_turtles_summer_hither
RIYL: Bon Iver, City and Colour, Fleet Foxes
1. Summer, Hither
2. Morning Song
3. Nature’s Hymn
4. A Reason To Hope
5. Being Small