I first heard Land of Leland’s Justin Keller when he did a delicious cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere.” His haunting and soothing vocals are infectious, cutting deep into your soul, right through the layers of denim, flannel and tee shirt I imagine him to be wearing. The band’s single, “Since Then,” has been on replay as I type, making me smile and eager to learn how this record will sound live. Keller’s dreamy voice harmonized and layered over the quick and precise drum beats and steady, interesting guitar work conjures up beach trips, bonfires, and youth.
I heard a lot of musical influence throughout the record: Kings Of Leon guitars in “Home Away,” Brian Wilson vocals on the high notes in “Summer Song,” Band of Horses in “Clarity,” and a bit of Sufjan Stevens in “New Mexico.” Yet somehow, Land of Leland manages to make the sounds their own. A talented group of musicians and styles combine for an airy and lovely sound. At times a millennial lullaby. It’s hard to be unique in this singer/songwriter genre and it’s harder to be good enough to be remembered. Land of Leland is being heard and deserves to be remembered.