- Tiana Speter
ALBUM REVIEW: All Things Go (MIGHTY OAKS)
ALBUM All Things Go // ARTIST Mighty Oaks
Armed with a sturdy decade under their belts, Berlin-based indie folk trio Mighty Oaks find renewed creative vigour and charming emotive release on their third full-length All Things Go which officially bloomed into the world yesterday.
Centred in a world often associated with simplicity and acoustic pursuits, Mighty Oaks first began their foray into indie folk back in 2010, with an American, an Italian and a Brit recording songs in a living room in Berlin. And after 10 years, countless gigs (including a recent stint alongside The Lumineers) and multiple releases, the Mighty Oaks recipe has undoubtedly endured and it would be understandable for a band to stay the path and continue with business as usual. But rather than stagnate and settle, this Berlin-based trio instead opted to challenge their very creative natures for their third LP, aka All Things Go, embarking on an evolution that both challenged and solidified the very core of the Mighty Oaks sound. And the result? An album free of rules and restraints from the group's self-described "handmade folk" days that pops and emotes across a revolving door of genres.
Opening with its title track All Things Go, the Mighty Oaks gents unfurl lustrous sparsity, woozy, layered vocals and booming folksy undertones as the sprinkling percussion punctuates life's loves, losses and farewells in a rich and warming fashion. Next up, I Need You Now fleshes out the trio's poppier tendencies with driving pianos, emphatic melodics and restless narritives that paints a cheerful surface over some particularly charming yearning.
ALL THINGS GO (MIGHTY OAKS)
Up next, Tell Me What You're Thinking gathers slithers of electronic production amongst lilting guitars and lolling vocal lines while traversing unspoken longing in a digital age, while Forget Tomorrow leaps back into poppier waters, with bolstered basslines and rumbling rhythmics perfectly complementing the coursing, soaring vocals.
While there are certainly wider sonic shifts throughout the album, at times Mighty Oaks return to their folk roots, with Lost Again coming in hot like a warm hug that envelops you with lashings of swollen harmonies and ambient undertones and the lustrous Aileen drawing to mind the simplistic instrumentation of City and Colour mixed with the wistful vocal stylings of Ian Hooper.
LOST AGAIN (MIGHTY OAKS)
Flitting between indie pop hustling and bustling (What You Got), anthemic stompers coated in honeyed vocals (Crazy) and some bubbling, show-stopping harmonies (Fly To You), the ongoing calm core of All Things Go permeates the undulating production while still allowing for shifts between emphatic and more intimate moments, before penultimate track Light The World on Fire thrusts a consciously-charged emphatic call-to-arms to keep hope alive and energise change - a mentality that carries over into the final track.
Closing in familiar folksy waters, All Things Go ends with Kids, a somewhat haunting closer that bemoans the inequalities and short-comings of the world around us while also softly affirming with repeated refrain "we can't let it go like this". It's a calm and poignant closer that sheds some of the earlier razzle dazzle seen on the album but is still clever in its simplicity, sticking with you and ending not with a bang, but an urgent whisper.
Overall, All Things Go is an easy listen, while also offering so much more beneath its gleaming, polished surface. With their third full-length, Mighty Oaks have not only actively sought out sonic diversity and emotional release as they venture into their second decade of existence - they have also managed to reflect their intrinsic authenticity with an affable, approachable and appealing package on their own terms. In the words of the band themselves: "Why should we be satisfied with being labelled and put in a drawer if we can have the whole cabinet?".
THE BRAND NEW ALBUM ALL THINGS GO FROM MIGHTY OAKS IS OUT IN THE WORLD NOW, WITH THE BAND CURRENTLY SMASHING OUT A HEAP OF SHOWS IN EUROPE. FOR MORE INFO HEAD HERE.
TELL ME WHAT YOU'RE THINKING (MIGHTY OAKS)
BY TIANA SPETER