We didn’t see you that year

Kingsbury Manx – Silver Trees

Who can resist the charm of Kingsbury Manx? Many people, as it turns out. They are not a famous band (this seems like a fair assessment). I know of only one other person in real life who likes the band’s music as much as I do. But they were (are?) a talented band, and they released some stone-cold classic records. I don’t know if they would have had more or less success if they’d existed in an earlier or later time, though their music, to my ears, has an undeniable appeal. All their songs have an essential quality of calm companionship, I think, in the full sense of the “sharing bread together” origin of the word ‘companion.’ Their music has always given off the vibe of a visit to a friend’s or relative’s comfortable house—a place where you know you’ll be received with hospitality and good cheer. Silver Trees is a little bit different, in some ways, since it’s more of a self-examination song, a retrospective look—though the music here, still, is so warm and inviting. A music-box tumble of guitars, a whispering organ/synth, a hint of percussion, and forthright declarations. It’s all so good. Their first three albums are pretty much unassailably great (start with one of those three if you’re interested), and everything else has been pretty fantastic too.

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