I’ve been listening to a lot of major-key indie-pop lately, and Driftwood Scarecrow‘s Beyond the Breakers fits near that realm. It’s as if Alexi Murdoch’s chillness, Bright Eyes’ vulnerability, Elliott Smith’s commitment to small-sounding arrangements, Sufjan Stevens’ titles (“Concerning the Incident by the Shed”) and twee vocals all had a picnic on a sunny hill while talking about death.
Seriously though, almost all of these songs are about death and trauma: family members dying (“Buffalo”), depression/suicide (“The Herpetologist”), self-harm (“Concerning the Incident by the Shed”), terror attacks (“Maury Park”), and unspecified tragedy (“The Vermonter”), among others. But fear not: all of those songs are in major keys, quietly strummed and sung. So if you’re the sort of person that doesn’t listen to lyrics too hard, this can be super-chill! If you’re into lyrics, then those who are into Elliott Smith songs should apply within.
The arrangements are small, as mentioned above, but they are impeccably done–these songs sound confident and well-written in their quietude. You don’t have to get wild and crazy to know you’re doing what you want to be doing. I’d start with the impressive “The Herpetologist” and then move on to the deeply moving “Buffalo.”