The Burnt Pines are laid-back, acoustic noodling, thoughtful lyrics, with perfect harmonies and breezy.
One of the first things that caught my attention was in a way Covid-19 fit these young men — they are 3,187 miles apart from each other, the cities of Boston, Massachusetts, and Lisbon, Portugal, both offer their own rich cultural heritage, especially when it comes to music.
The band is made up of Danish-born singer and lyricist, Kris Skovmand, who provides lead vocals; veteran instrumentalist and arranger Aaron Flanders on guitar and banjo, and veteran piano and keyboard player and arranger Miguel Sá Pessoa.
On this debut CD, The Burnt Pines, other musicians are featured including Fernando Huergo on 5-string electric bass, Luis Barros on drums and percussion, and Dan Fox on upright bass.
“Once we got rolling, we felt like every song we came up with was better than the last, it’s been very exciting” says Flanders. “We were cranking out a new song from zero to completely done and produced, bass, drums, everything, every three weeks. In addition to the dozen songs on the album we have seven more original songs already finished for the second album, as well as two cover songs, and we’re still writing. It’s been just incredibly productive, exciting and fruitful.”
The national release of this CD took place Jan. 22, 2021.
As they weave a magical web of mystery songs the listener is drawn in, wanting to listen again for more clues.
Even the name Burnt Pines is a bit mesmerizing.
Is it a tree damaged by fire, but still standing?
Is it the town, Burnt Pine, the largest town on Norfolk Island (in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia)?
Or is just an open road illusion created by miles and miles of pines on either side, as the album cover suggests?
Kris and Miguel share a studio in Lisbon. Flanders has his own studio in Boston. The songs themselves make the interesting journey back and forth.
“I would send my guitar parts over to their studio. They would work on it at that point. Kris would write all the lyrics. Amazingly enough, once I sent the guitar parts over there, Kris would always do these songs in one session of three or four hours. He would come up with all the lyrics and, in a good number of cases, all the melody. Once the initial rough version was down we might play with it a little. But sometimes we didn’t have to, depending on the song,” Flanders said.
This is cool stuff filled with creativity and wonder — for more go to www.TheBurntPines.com