Feb 27, 2012

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Review: Joyce The Librarian – The Weight Of The Line

When I was sent this EP, I’ll be honest: I had no idea what to expect. The band name alone, inspired by the Richard Stilgoe & Peter Skellern song of the same name, made me wonder what on earth I had gotten myself into. The Weight of the Line, however, is satisfyingly grand for a debut EP.

When the Wood Comes Down starts off large with a lengthy musical intro and draws into the standard three-beats-a-bar-waltz tempo. The second half of the song is understated enough to draw you in without being lost to the proceeding intro, but the song never loses its musicality.

From the Foot of Troopers Hill is more upbeat than the last, but feels as though it is carried in a breath, rather than being sung. The simple guitar and effortless lyrics particularly make this track, and the swelling chorus rolls like a wave, soothing and fluid. The pacing is just slow enough that you still get a chance to be pulled in.

Land is an exceptionally bold member of this EP. It is held by the same simple guitar that carries the other tracks, but is also strung with cello and trumpets. This is understandably the longest track; there is so much in this song that it couldn’t possibly be thinned down to fit the around-three-minutes standard set by the other tracks.

The final track is the title track, The Weight of the Line.  This almost classic story of loss is accompanied by a crying cello. It is long enough to give you time to grow emotionally connected to the song while still being short enough that you feel the loss implied by the lyrics.

The Weight of the Line, though an appropriate length, feels far too short. I sat in silence for a few seconds after it ended before thinking if that was all there was. You are going to want more, and that’s a good thing. Revel in it. Think about every feeling you have in the moments following. If you are feeling up to it, hit the replay button; there are new things to discover with each listen.

Taylor Nugent