Album Review :: Jamboree :: A Beautiful Place

by Paul Carruthers

Winnipeg’s own Jamboree (Alex, Nick, and Sky) offer an eleven track melancholy indie album that features lyrics about isolation, riding the bus, Halloween Snowmen, with tight guitar playing and a clear love of indie rock.

Jamboree begins A Beautiful Place with a title track full of spoken word reminiscent of early Slint. Layers of guitars perform a riff that gives off the feeling of riding a bus that the title track “A Beautiful Place” depicts. 

“Peeve” sticks out on the tracklist with lyrics that speak to the alienation of simple acts, such as your parents locking the door even though they KNOW you’re coming home. The heartfelt vocal performance brings home the message of being broken down and the impressive wall of guitars gives the feeling of being overwhelmed with emotions. 

Each song is brief, leaving the listener wanting a bit more. The vocal performances utilize the full range of the singer, and vocal harmonies are sparingly used but noticeable when present. The guitar playing (The highlight of which is the powerful solo on “Timmy”) is prominent in the mix in almost every track, with the exception of “Don’t Give Yourself Away” which features floating synth lines and falsetto reminiscent of Beach House.

Experimentation with sampling and glitch sounds are used sparingly throughout the album, which add to the experience the album builds. Most prominently on the track “A Very Pure Town”, a gentle interlude that breaks up the track list and “Halloween Snowman”, with a crescendo of screaming “I’m not haunted!” are supplemented by screaming guitars and vocal samples in the background.

“The Dust” is an intimate closer with bouncing acoustic guitars that harken back to the opening track, siren sounds, french telephone, a harmonica solo, and other ambient sounds. The passion for music, excellent guitar playing, and tight production show a maturity in the band that makes me excited for future releases.

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