Take a guitar, a cajon, a mandolin and three dudes from Columbia, MD, who’ve been friends since high school, toss them in a room and if you stayed, they’d probably be playing music three hours later and you’d love it! This lengthy EP from Splendor Tree is a collection of songs Austin Sebek, Ben Woo, and Caleb Woo have recorded on their musical journey and recently released as a whole. What I’ve Been Looking For, encapsulates neo folk in a lazy river journey way. This is the sort of album that you’d want to hang out with while reclining on a pastoral landscape or a calm sea shore.
The vocals are a mix of haunting, earnest introspection that are almost spoken like a prayer, while the percussion gently urges in the listener into listening without drifting too far into sleep. Lyrically, these songs are devotional in nature, and excellently woven together in a tapestry that is intelligent and intriguing. Meditative and alluring, this is an excellent collection, beginning with “What I’ve Been Looking For,” moving into a quiet “Strength,” reaching an urgent undercurrent of fervor with “How Beautiful” and drifting over an “Ocean” till ending at a peaceful “Home.”
Often times, when an album says it was recorded in basements and self recorded, usually there’s an expectation that the quality is going to sound a little rough around the edges and unevenly mixed. If they hadn’t explicitly stated that these tracks were recorded in basements, I would have expected that the recordings were done in a studio and mixed by someone who’s been doing this for a lengthy while. This collection sounds so good. Let me type that again, it sounds so good.