Jake and the Leprechauns - At Midnight, The Birdsong

By: David Lacalamita

Jake and the Leprechauns - At Midnight, The Birdsong

Jake and the Leprechauns
At Midnight, The Birdsong

(Landlocked Records)

SOUNDS LIKE: A well-crafted collection of tunes from a talented group of multi-instrumentalists.

This collection of songs from Quebec band Jake and the Leprechauns is an eclectic mix of sometimes drum-heavy rock, sometimes bluegrass, sometimes New Orleans/Dixieland music that makes for quite an exciting 50-minute listen. 

"Misunderstanding Entropy" is practically a soundtrack to a film, it's so colourful.  Singer Charles-Antoine Gosselin's voice is distinctive, although processed a little too much, and the band's falsetto harmonies blend with it well. 

"Busy Bee", the third track on the album, is the odd one out, featuring a ragtag collection of instruments including a trumpet, Ukulele, banjo, a musical saw, and an assortment of percussion instruments.  But it's a significant contribution to the album, demonstrating that this band understands subtlety, and is just as confident with carefully-placed notes as it is with upbeat drum-driven rock tunes.

It's rare you hear a band that understands how to use as diverse instrumentation as is used on At Midnight; instruments seldom step into each other's space, even when there are upwards of seven instruments playing at once.  And there's an obvious craft in their buildups, a slow and deliberate toying with expectations made all the more exciting by the diversity of instruments at their disposal.

This album is a shade darker than fun, but there are beautiful moments here, moments that will make you bust out your air-guitar, and moments that will tug at your heart.

Video: "Busy Bee" by Jake and the Leprechauns

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