On their debut album, Leave It All Behind, The Arden Room add a touch of prairie-bound wistfulness to a spacious indie rock sound.
Leave It All Behind comprises nine expansive tracks, on which shimmering guitars interlock with steady drumbeats while glimmers of brass and glockenspiel fly longingly on by like scenery viewed from a moving car’s window. Frontman Jake Johns uses amiable vocals and abstract lyrics to further establish a daydream-like atmosphere that lingers even on the more uptempo songs. Basically, think of a less whooping take on early Band of Horses. “Pastor Wren,” an anthemic, trumpet-assisted swell built around plaintive acoustic guitar and weeping piano, sees Johns gently admonish the titular character, “Don’t hide[…]Don’t lie anymore[…]There’s no one left to take your side.” The song itself is so warmly inviting that the words function more as an absolution than they do a jab. At five-plus minutes, “Wren” contains plenty of space for vamping, and Johns and his collaborators seize the opportunity to construct gorgeous steeples of melody that could bring a tear to even the stoniest eye.
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